Friday, August 28, 2009

Making Deadlines

Lets face it, in the software development world, there are unrealistic deadlines that need to be met. This entry talks about some dirty coding tricks that were necessary to meet a deadline. Although these types of tricks would make any rational developer recoil in disgust, they are sometimes necessary. In fact, most production software isn't ideal code wise. Ask any developer who has code running in the wild if they would like to re-factor at least a portion of that code. Odds are that you'll find many.

Is there an acceptable limit to exactly how dirty these tricks can be in order to meet a deadline? Some dirty coding tricks are so horrific that fixing the repercussions of them in the future will be a project on its own. However, all that matters is shipping the software on time. And that it works. So if crossing some kind of ugly code threshold results in shipping on time, do it. Otherwise, you may not get a chance to re-factor that code later on.

And, lessons can be learned about the project as a whole when resorting to dirty code tricks. These lessons can impose new constraints and new policies on future releases.