I saw the following post on twitter earlier this week:
I have to admit that my first response was of course all the time. Then afterwards, it got me thinking about those times that I broke this rule.
Don’t look at me or tell me that you have never patched bad code.
We all have worked somewhere where there was this one class, function or piece of code that we dreaded working on and when we did, it was precision strike. You know the drill:
Get in, get out and leave no trace behind that says you were there.
I worked this one job where a large part of what our software did was track the status that certain types of documents could be in. There was myself and a few other programmers that were aware of the process and rules for how these documents changed status and we always hated when customers or program managers wanted to “tweak” those rules.
We often talked about rewriting all that code and in some projects, we actually attempted to schedule time for its work. In reality though, it was the largest plate of spaghetti most of us had ever seen and each time we opted against it. Usually our excuse for not doing was always the same:
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
If you Google that phrase, you will find hits all over the place about. So which famous engineer do we choose to associate this saying to? Amazingly, this quote belongs to a businessman by the name of Bert Lance who at the time was working for President Carter.
Please don’t take this to mean that I am supporting this type of thinking all the time. The whole idea of taking things that are “working” and changing them is a business model (disruptive technology) for so many of today's majorly successful companies.
Maybe for fun though, I will tweet the following:
One of the quickest ways to break something is to fix it when it ain’t broken.
Later everyone and as usual happy coding!!! =)