Resisting the Feature Creature – Geek Meet CraiovaTuesday, December 2nd, 2008
My talk at the Geek Meet in Craiova/Romania last week covered a topic that I consider terribly important right now. As developers we are constantly shooting ourselves in the foot and create new and improved bullets to make it hurt a bit less instead of not doing that.
We constantly complain about the world, our colleagues, the market and of course our “stupid company” but at the same time we got noone to blame but ourselves for a lot of the stupid things that happen to us.
As developers we have this tiny little bad adviser living in our heads: the feature creature*.
This one keeps telling us constantly not only to add more features to our solutions but it also gives us a terribly inflated sense of what our job is to bring to the world.
It makes us arrogant and ignorant to the solutions that other developers – just like us – already developed and offer for use. In short, it makes us do the same jobs over and over again as we know best instead of telling us to have a look around at what has already been done and tweak or extend it to our needs.
Instead of spending time on creating well-documented software that is built to be customized and allows for plugins and extensions we keep building the same software types we refuse to use ourselves as they don’t exactly do what we want.
Maybe it is time to shut the little feature creature up and work together on bigger, better and more stable solutions. It is not about who can make the fastest and smallest and most optimized code. This is an extra step we should take when we need exceptional performance, not the common use case.
If you want to go nuts on bringing the best out of hardware and technology, go and do some stuff in the demo scene, this is where I got rid of a lot of my bad habits.
I’ve put the slides up on SlideShare:
* The feature creature is not my invention, I heard it from a speaker in 2004/2005 at the PHP conference in Amsterdam, but for the life of me I cannot remember who it was. He was ranting about Struts a lot, I remember that.