Fixing Tech Debt is Like Organizing Your Tupperware Drawer

claysiefken profile image Clay Siefken ・1 min read

The trouble is not convincing anyone that it needs to be done. The trouble is deciding that any one lid is the lid that you can't tolerate being precariously balanced on the pile any longer. The trouble is deciding when to fix it.

What many people understand intuitively at home is that the secret is, every lid is the one you shouldn't tolerate being out of place. And the time is now. In practice, it's okay to let a lid stay out of place while you rescue your toddler or corgi from running out into the street. Be sane. But don't go buying more tupperware if your drawer looks like mine did. Fix what you've got first.

Likewise, don't tolerate bugs. Don't tolerate slowness. Fix what you've got before you add more, because it won't be easier later. It only gets tougher the longer you wait.

One of the challenges of this approach is that you'll find a fact about all the things you want to do: you can't afford to do them all well. There just isn't enough time. You need to be ruthless about scope. Let go of some treasured ideas that you aren't going to be able to get working in a reasonable timeframe. Cut it down.

You don't need those mismatched lids. How often do you really need to freeze that much stuff, anyway? Marie Kondo that trash. It does not spark joy.

Posted on May 29 by:

claysiefken profile

Clay Siefken


Progressive programmer and dad to five living in the Midwest US. I mostly wax philosophical about lessons that cross over between personal and professional life. Usually with a cheesy metaphor.


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