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It only has to be good enough


Earlier today I read a blog-post titled Of Debt And Decisions. It got me thinking...

I know that I tend to be a perfectionist. I want my code to be perfect both in functionality and style. Bug-free, fast and well-coded. And that's how it should be. Right?

Of Debt And Decisions shows that even something which is clearly less-than-perfect can still be good enough.

Let's not forget that the work we do in coding has a purpose. We want to solve a problem. If we can do that with less work by just being good enough instead of being perfect, then why not?

Sure, it sounds like we are cutting corners. That we are being lazy. But there is another word for "lazy", and that word is "efficient".

The most scarce resource in everyone's life is time. You only have a finite amount of it. And in general you don't even know how much you have left. So it's a good idea not to waste it. And working efficiently is a good way to work toward that goal.

That does not mean you should completely ignore the quality of your work. That's not what good enough means. It still needs to be good. But only good enough. Any more than that, and you are putting in more work than necessary. You would be wasting your time.

We see this concept in the Minimum Viable Product, where you start with something that is just good enough, and not with your perfect dream-product.

What I didn't realize before, is that Minimum-Viable-Product is not just about what the product actually does, but also how it looks on the inside. It doesn't have to be perfectly coded, observing all the latest style-guides, fitting in nicely with how we think "good" code should look like.

It only has to be good enough.


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A Programmer's Diary