Todays Work is Tomorrow’s Raw Material

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I saw this on Quora a while ago, and have been meaning to share it:

Software is one of the very few things where yesterday’s work output is most of today’s raw material. If you dig one ditch poorly, so what? You move on. But you can’t move on from a bad night’s coding. Your mistakes stick with you until you clean them up. Most people don’t, which is why a lot of software projects are a morass of bugs, messy code, and chaos, yielding low productivity and terrible morale.

-William Pietri on Quora

It’s good food for thought about technical debt. It doesn’t always make business-sense to go spend the time to clean up all the technical debt right away, but sooner or later it catches up with you if you continue to work on the same code-base.

River of News?

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“BTW, this is also why the river of news approach doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re subscribed solely to feeds from popular blogs and web sites, a river of news is ideal – you get a flow of information that you can scan for stuff that looks interesting. If you miss a story, no big deal – it’ll float by later if it’s important. But if you’re also subscribed to feeds critical to your business, this approach is unacceptable. You don’t want a flow of uncategorized, unprioritized information that combines articles from Boing Boing with items from your company’s internal feeds. You need separation between the stuff you read for fun and the stuff you read because it’s critical to your job.”
http://nick.typepad.com/blog/2009/05/a-listers-are-late-to-the-stream.html