When you hit your teenage years you decide you want to be a software developer. During your high school years, you learn how to write software using object-oriented principles. When you graduate to college, you apply all the principles you’ve learned to areas such as Artificial Intelligence or 3D graphics.
And when you hit the professional circuit, you begin your never-ending quest to write commercial-quality, maintainable, and “perfect” code that will stand the test of time.
Commercial-quality. Huh. That’s pretty funny.
I consider myself lucky, I *love* design patterns. I like studying the theory of coding perfection. I have no problem starting up an hour-long discussion about why my XP partner’s choice of inheritance hierarchy is wrong — that HAS-A is better than IS-A in so many cases. But something has been bugging me lately and I am wondering something…
…is good code impossible in modern software development?The Typical Project Proposal
As a full-time contract developer (and part-time), I spend my days (and nights) developing mobile applications for clients. And what I’ve learned over the many years I’ve been doing this is that the demands of client work preclude me from writing the real quality apps that I’d like to be.
Before I begin, let me just say it’s not for a lack of trying. I love the topic of clean code. I don’t know anyone who pursues that perfect software design like I do. It’s the execution that I find more elusive, and not for the reason you think.
Here, let me tell you a story.
Towards the end of last year, a pretty well-known company put out an RFP (Request for Proposol) to have an app built for them. They’re a huge retailer, but for the sake of anonymity let’s call them Gorilla Mart. They say they need to create an iPhone presence and would like an app produced for them by Black Friday. The catch? It’s already November 1st. That leaves just under 4 weeks to create the app. Oh, and at this time Apple is still taking two weeks to approve apps. (Ah, the good old days.) So, wait, this app has to be written in…TWO WEEKS?!?!
Yes. We have two weeks to write this app. And unfortunately, we’ve won the bid. (In business, client importance matters.) This is going to happen.
This is one of my favorite blog posts of the past few years. I have re read it to get a laugh so many times, I cant remember.