Just Ship It

Will write C/C++ for foodMike Jurewitz: “I have watched too many developers over the years focus on the wrong things in their products. Some endlessly add feature upon feature and take so long to ship that their users have long since moved on. Others endlessly rework a feature in pursuit of some nebulous technical excellence that isn’t necessary and whose pursuit certainly doesn’t pay the bills. And others find themselves constantly moving the target they’re trying to hit, redefining the features, UI, or problem-space of their product in a continual reaction to the world around them. These are easy traps to fall into. After all, we’re all human and most of us are making it up as we go.”

Good advice. Maybe people don’t teach this anymore? You can’t have a 2.0 without ever having a 1.0, right. Iterate, iterate, iterate, but ship between those iterations. Some people have to find the perfect solution for everything, or they waste their time rewriting code that works because they don’t like the style, or believe their way is better. There are, of course, good reasons for rewriting code, but the reasons I just mentioned aren’t among them.

I’m guilty of doing this stuff myself, when I was younger. What I’d end up with is code the way I liked it, but offered the same functionality. No net gain. I’ve learned not to do this. I now move forward and tweak things as needed for the next release. Yes, it must be solid and usable, but it doesn’t have to be perfect in every way.

I’m not the greatest developer in the world. I’m slow and my code has never been the prettiest in the world, but it’s in use by well over 10 million people worldwide, and that’s a pretty darned good feeling.

So, my advice to you is, find a nice minimum set of functionality, make it usable, make it solid, and ship it. That will let you move forward. It will afford you the opportunity to create a 2.0.

By Rob Fahrni

Husband / Father / Developer