As I mentioned previously, I've been listening to various software and technology podcasts recently. This was great while I was taking the bus to work during the winter, but now that I'm back on my bike I don't have as much time to listen. I have to get a bit more selective. I had started listening to Herding Code for some reason, I just came across it and it sounded potentially interesting. After listening to a few episodes though, I was getting a bit tired of it because they just seem to talk amongst themselves without much useful content.
Today, I was listening and came across the following in Episode 21: Real World Development:
(44:37) Kevin Dente: To a certain extent I see what you're saying that the "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality can definitely bite you in the butt if you're missing chances for improvements in your process or your applications because you're so afraid to touch things that you're sort of frozen in time. Again I think we're bringing it back to test driven development and having the confidence to change those things while not destabilizing a running system is a huge enabler for that sort of change. Not just from a technology perspective but from a process perspective, we can significantly improve our effectiveness if we make so and so and so changes and you're able to do that and not stuck because the developer who wrote that code five years ago has long since quit and nobody knows how it works.
(45:45) Jon Galloway: Or in our case, actually had perished. There (ha ha) was in the courtyard at our financial institution there was a bench and the bench had this guy's name on it and apparently he had written a lot of the authorization code and then had perished of a heart attack (ha ha ha) and everyone afterwards would kick the bench when they walked by it because it was just it was the kind of code where you had to add a column to a table every time you wanted to add a new user type, that kind of deal.
(46:26) Kevin Dente: So, we've talked a little bit about test driven development and some design stuff ...
I could hardly believe my ears. Who has so little respect for their fellow human that they would literally kick a memorial to somebody who was unfortunate enough to have suffered a fatal heart attack? Maybe some of his code wasn't designed as well as it could have been, but look at the bigger picture. Perhaps he left behind a wife and kids, what would they think if they knew his bench was getting kicked by a bunch of malfeasants who used to work with him? And then to laugh about it so heartily on a public podcast?
I'm done with these guys. I've already spent too much time writing this up.