voodoo programming
n. Using program code written by someone else without understanding how the code works.
voodoo code n.

Example Citations:
Technologies that hide complexity the way Core Data does can encourage “voodoo programming,” that most dangerous of programming practices where you include code in your application that you don’t necessarily understand. Sometimes that mystery code arrives in the form of a project template. Or, perhaps you download a utilities library that does a task for you that you just don’t have the time or expertise to do for yourself. That voodoo code does what you need it to do. and you don’t have the time or inclination to step through it and figure it out, so it just sits there, working its magic...until it breaks.
—David Mark et al., “More iOS 6 Development,” Apress, December 26, 2012

voodoo programming /n./

[from George Bush’s “voodoo economics”] The use by guess or cookbook of an obscure or hairy system, feature, or algorithm that one does not truly understand. The implication is that the technique may not work, and if it doesn’t, one will never know why.
—Eric S. Raymond, “The New Hacker’s Dictionary,” The MIT Press, October 11, 1996

Earliest Citation:
Linux was produced by a mishmash team of UNIX gurus, hackers, and the occasional loon. The system itself reflects this complex heritage. The jungle is deep and dangerous. You are entering the realm of black magic and deep wizardry, of voodoo programming and subtle obfuscation.
—Richard Morin, “Linux,” UNIX Review, September 1, 1994

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