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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Suffering-Oriented Programming

While exploring the Flume architecture, I came across a presentation called 'Become Efficient or Die: The Story of BackType' that coined a new term - 'suffering-oriented programming'. It is a simple concept which means:
  • Don’t add process until you feel the pain of not having it.
  • Don’t build new technology until you feel the pain of not having it.
  • First make it possible. Then, make it beautiful. Then, make it fast.
Examples:
Growing from 2 people to 3 people.

Other interesting points from the presentation:

Over-engineering = Attempting to create beautiful software without a thorough understanding of the problem domain.
Premature optimization = Optimizing before creating “beautiful” design, creating unnecessary complexity.
Refactoring and reducing technical debt = Garbage collection for the code base.

Technical debt:
  • W needs to be refactored
  • X deploy should be faster
  • Y needs more unit tests
  • Z needs more documentation
Such issues are never high priority to work on, but they build up and slow you down.

The presentation is available here.

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