In the workplace

Let’s hack it now and fix it later

“Let’s hack it now and fix it later”. I’ve heard that before!

3 years later looking at some old source code, “WTF was I thinking?!”

Then I remember. The deadline was tight. We needed to get something out the door. And we decided “Let’s hack it now and fix it later”.

Now I’m feeling dispirited.

Reality is often quite nuanced as it was not necessarily a bad decision, it just missed one qualifier.

It depends on when “later” is. If later set at the time of the hack (“lets hack this now and we’ll fix it next month”) then that is acceptable. However, hacking on the never never has many consequences.

The arguments for “lets hack this now and we can fix it later” run the same way as taking on a debt. If it is managed then it can be a sensible decision (e.g. a mortgage or car loan) . If it is left to run rampant (just piling spending on a credit card and only ever playing the minimum balance) then extreme measures may have to be taken down the line.

One thought on “Let’s hack it now and fix it later

  1. Sometimes we also dont remember how good we were 3 years ago, or what was the situation that left us say “Lets hack this and do it later”. I mean, it might be as well that 3 years ago you couldn’t figure out the answer for the problem as easy as you can do now, so it seems that it was really something wrong to do, that another try on the fix would help you sort out the issue, but in fact, 3 years ago it could had take you more then an hour and due to the always tight schedule you just decided to hack it.
    But I agree, it should neve be for a never never.

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