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Cover image for Don’t be a speed shaver
Craig Nicol (he/him)
Craig Nicol (he/him)

Posted on • Originally published at craignicol.wordpress.com on

Don’t be a speed shaver

CW: description of blood.

There’s a deadline looming, and your estimates show the project coming in late. Very late.

You need to claw it back. Drop the ballast and become a lean mean coding machine.


You have a plane to catch. You look at your watch and you’re going to be late. Very late.

You need to cut corners. Shave as you shower. No time for shaving foam in the mirror.

The first cut is annoying. Your cheek stings in the heat, but you keep going.

A second cut, right on the chin. That one hurt. And it’s dripping rather than seeping.

But you need to finish. You don’t have time for this. Keep going.

Missed a bit, back under the chin.

4 cuts. 3 seeping and one dripping.

And the heat keeps them open.

So you patch it over with tissue once you’re out of the shower, try and clean it up to see what you’ve missed. And then you have to go back in and finish the job with cold skin, so more nicks, and more time is taken.

Aftershave to help seal and clean. That’s sore. That’ll sting until you get on the plane.

More tissues, and then plasters. Trying to get dressed without getting any blood stains, so that’s slower too.


Every shortcut you take has consequences. Technical debt pays interest, and sometimes it’s eye-watering. The debt exceeds the functionality and the project takes longer, and even longer than that. And so you have to make more cuts and ensure more pain. And still, your clients can see it’s held together with plasters that are already starting to peel.

Don’t be a speed shaver. You don’t have enough time to do it quickly.

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