Ideal Coding Process and Principles

//
// Dear maintainer:
//
// Once you are done trying to 'optimize' this routine,
// and have realized what a terrible mistake that was,
// please increment the following counter as a warning
// to the next guy:
//
// total_hours_wasted_here = 42
//
Exception up = new Exception("Something is really wrong.");
throw up;  // ha ha
// When I wrote this, only God and I understood what I was doing
// Now, God only knows

Okay... It's time to stop writing funny code. Here are some principles you may have to know for writing clean code...