Sunday, January 30, 2011

Code, like food, has a MeatCake stage

What's your legacy code base look like? If you swap out "refrigerator" for "Source Control" does the following sketch from George Carlin sound eerily familiar to your team's refactoring discussions?

"Perhaps the worst thing that can happen is to reach into the refrigerator and come out with something that you cannot all. You literally do not know what it is! Could be meat...could be cake. Usually, at a time like this, I'll bluff:
'Honey, is this good?'
'Well, what is it?'
'I don't know...I've never seen anything like it. It looks like...MEATCAKE!'
'Well, smell it!'
'(sniff)-ah, (sniff) has absolutely no smell whatsoever!'
'It's good! Somebody is saving it. It'll turn up in something.'

The hilariously on target post by William Woody at shows just how quickly our best intentions quickly go astray. We try to predict the future and we end up with meatcake code, interfaces and frameworks that do nothing, except get in the way of developing new features.