...and that can be fine.
To get things working, it can often be best to find a solution that someone else has already implemented.
The problem here is when you do this within your own code base constantly, without any regard for the lack of knowledge or hacks that were made the first time round.
If you ever say to yourself "I'm doing it like this because that's how it's always been done" or "so and so did it this way, so I'm doing it this way". Stop and think!
Argh, even writing this, I'm torn with this idea, since often times you just want to get something done and out, but maybe it can be improved. Maybe the original copy-cat did it for a reason you don't know, don't understand or straight up just doesn't apply to you.
Loads of people copy work. Don't get me wrong. Hell, I've copied a tonne of work. It's convenient. Someone has already done it. Brilliant.
You might have heard of the 3 steps:
- Make it work
- Make it better
- Make it fast
Plagiarism often only covers step 1.
Plagiarism gives you development speed. Plagiarism doesn't give you understanding, code improvements or personal development. Oftentimes, it will lead to spreading bad code around the system. Oftentimes, this comes with the intention of cleaning it up later, which almost never happens.