profile picture

Think of the Children

March 21, 2013 - Roundwall Software

When I was in college for electrical engineering, I learned to program objective-C for the Mac and that has now become my full-time job instead of engineering. The primary reason for pursuing a life of software development instead of engineering was the community. The developers I read about like Mike Lee, Daniel Jalkut, Gus Mueller, and so on made me so very excited to write software for a living. When I had the chance to meet them in person, along with other developers, I was even more excited. It was a community, a group of people who gave a shit about each other.

When you choose to take shortcuts in your freelance projects, consider the effect on the community. When you whip out that singleton because it’s quick and easy (and we all know it’s a bad idea), think of the community. Think of the other developer who has to add features and fix bugs on the project once you’re done. That poor guy (or gal) has children to feed, expenses to pay, and needs to take this project to make the money to take care of that. They have to add features onto that project full of your shortcuts. They have to pay the technical debt you acquired to get the job done. Like all clients, the client is hassling them to get it done as quickly as possible for as little money as possible.

Your shortcuts have made life harder for that person. That person can’t afford to tell the client it can’t be done because they have bills to pay. The client won’t listen when that person says the app needs to be re-written because of the mess you left bend.

Think of the children when you choose to take those quick, easy, delicious shortcuts. The children the next guy has to feed by adding features and fixing bugs in your code. Don’t just try to write better code for yourself, do it for the community. Sure, no one is perfect, but do your best to learn how to write things so that you can be nice to your fellow developers.