Keeping the flies at bay
This is what GIGO stands for, and it can make a dent on almost every aspect of Life, but it applies particularly well in coding. In software engineering, GIGO is just an acronym that is usually used to stress the importance of sanitizing and validating input, whether it be from the user, a data source, a remote source, or elsewhere.The point is that if bad data is input, it doesn’t matter how well the program is written or how perfect the algorithm is, the end result won’t be good.
This is equally true of the algorithm or the implementation of the program, by the way. If the wrong algorithm is chosen, you are going to get the wrong results – that’s still garbage in. Similarly, you might have great data and the right algorithm, but if the implementation sucks, you’ve still got bad input. It’s still good old GIGO.
Bottomline: if you input unintended, even nonsensical, data (“garbage in”) to a computer (operated by logical processes), then it will produce undesired, often nonsensical, output (“garbage out”). Have you ever seen this principle in action? What can be done to prevent its harmful effects on code? And – last but not least – what can be done to keep a swarm of filthy flies at bay?