I’m marking the first assignment for the data structures and algorithms course. Two problems – a painful but well-defined majority element and the other a linked list. I’m reading this code and I’m getting a headache. I need to take a break every 30 minutes, it’s so hard.

The problem is I’m looking at the code and I know that it can’t possibly work. But it does. I try creating a scenario where it will fail as I expect it should, I fiddle with the memory arrangement on the stack, but the bloody things work anyway.

I know the right way to do it, but who says what I think is the right way really is? I’m not going to take marks off for thinking out of the box, even if that’s just evidence of not paying attention in class.

While it’s extremely unlikely that these weird ways to solve problems are any good in the real world, where other people have to read your code – I’ve read enough code in my life to know that whether it works is the ultimate quality metric, and readability is but an illusion.

Back to work.