I was reading this interesting article about ‘Agile outside Software Development’ and I went in touch with the concept of ‘broken windows’ theory.

As you can read on wikipedia, there is a Book and a theory by George Kelling and Catherine Coles based on this concept:

“Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatter or light fires inside.
Or consider a sidewalk. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of trash from take-out restaurants there or breaking into cars”

This theory says something about why leaving debt (I’ll fix it later, I’ll do better in second release, I’ll add tests tomorrow, I’ll refactor in next iteration …) while writing code is, for me, badly wrong: it creates a negative loop and after a while your code is fragile and hard to modify.

PierG

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