Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Deny your beliefs - develop quick and dirty

Lately, I have been denying my beliefs.

I have been kicking around with a rugby ball. It bounces everywhere. Hopeless, but that is just the point. The physiotherapist wanted me to do this as part of my rehabilitation of my knee. It's all about the constant sideways movements. At least my son had to laugh. Though he's a little football (soccer) genius (we like to belief so), he kicks around with any type of ball and follows Aussie Rules (AFL) and the rugby codes as well.

image Wikimedia Commons
Because I have been less active, I tried to abstain from my chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag) on bread for breakfast. These are not the horrible tiny bits you get normally in Australia, but the real original Dutch ones. Luckily the supermarket around the corner sells them and that's why I survived for so long here in Australia. General health advise is not to have something sweet for breakfast. So I thought it might be time for me to listen to good advice.

But even worse, lately I have been toying with the thought that quick and dirty development of websites and applications might be a good strategy as long as you have the discipline to use this only for throw away solutions.

Specifically in these day and age where technology platforms and devices come and ago with rapid speed, you need to redo you work for the different platform within no time. If you have to throw it away anyway, why bother to put proper architectures and designs in place?

Today it is the iPhone, tomorrow the iPad and next with will be iDroidBerry(*) or whatever it is that integrates with the latest social networking service. You need to respond quickly not to miss the boat.

The problem with this is that if you don't throw the solution away within a year or so, you end up doing maintenance on the solution which then becomes expensive. I found that usually you hardly put a solution aside within a year. And if you do, usually you do this only partly.

For the cases that I ever ran into these temporary intended solutions, it always turned out that we needed to maintain and enhance it for at least a few years. Some of those were done quick and dirty or we inherited those from others. But we always regretted the quick and dirty approach.

We found also quite often that when development was outsourced the vendor tried to do this within the given time frames sacrificing sound design and architecture. In order to beat competition they quoted low but that meant they could only stay profitable by doing it quick and dirty. Ongoing support usually then became expensive. (One of the reasons, you should be very careful when outsourcing development).

Now when I think about it, quick and dirty might not be such a good solution and I better stick to my belief to deliver well thought through and well designed solutions.

Once my rehabilitation is over I will put the rugby ball to the side and use a proper ball again. This morning I had my hagelslag for breakfast.

(*) Soon to be trade marked by Shane O' Neill.

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