“Don’t hate the coding, hate the code.” – Ice T

Code addiction is a very real and well documented phenomenon, and we’ve all been guilty of it at one time or another.

Sometime’s it’s forced upon us.  Wizbang Startup needs 10 Angular developers to build out the new customer portal–just build it!  Now!

durst-fred-photo-xl-fred-durst-6209268
I told you Enterprise JavaBeans we’re gonna be lit! – Fred Durst, circa 2000

Sometime it’s just technical debt.  Legacy Software, Inc has a monolithic Java stack that was originally conceived at the peak of Limp Bizkit’s popularity.  Half this code doesn’t work and we’re not exactly sure what the other half does.

Since this is such a well-traveled subject I did some research on what other bloggers had to say about this topic.  One of the ideas that makes the most sense to me is this:

“Focus on solutions, not code” – Yoda

Well that sounds great, doesn’t it?  But what are some practical ways we could actually accomplish that?

How about we stop seeing a growing codebase as a commodity, and instead for what it really is…a liability.

Mic.  Drop.

Technical debt is often treated as of those “yeah we should put that on our list” problems that never gets any real traction because, well, “we’ve got to get version 2.0 out the door and we’re already behind schedule!”

Dan Aykroyd Plays Julia Child
Ask your grandparents about this reference.

Maybe we need to gain a healthy appreciation that code, like a knife, can either make us a pastrami sandwich or it can send us to the emergency room with a blood geyser like Dan Aykroyd as Julia Child.

Throttle the coding habit

Let’s strive for smaller check-ins, more reusability, and to have for more tests than actual code.  After all, tests are pretty safe.  If you write a useless test, it don’t necessarily mean that the app won’t work.

Think of coding like a space mission.  How much work do you think goes ahead of time thinking, monitoring, testing, and dreaming about the implications of space poop versus the actual mission itself?  Flying the actual rocket is like coding, it happens only after everything else has been thoroughly thought through (English is a strange language btw).

Your thoughts?

Have you been guilty of code addiction?  Let’s hear your stories.