Programming is an art. I [You] do a lot of business that starts off with "…and my developer just isn’t around anymore…" Dozens of statements could come before or after that but no of those statements change the meaning. Quite simply, you are [I am] about to look at someone else’s code and that person may be an expert programmer or a newbie borrowing snippets from other people’s examples. The code may be documented correct or incorrectly or not at all. Regardless, you [I] have to work with that code no matter its state or quality.
If you are a professional software developer, or aspire to be one, you will need to know a lot of of things. Various maths, stats, languages, frameworks, methodologies, tools, etc. Fads and buzzwords will come and go, all during your career. You’ll master some, ignore some, laugh at some. … You have got to be able to read other people’s code. [Source, Design by Gravity, How to Read Other People’s Code — and Why]
Worthwhile read by Christopher Schanck