I remember a conversation with a client about certain coding practices. We were discussing things like code reviews, paired programming and similar concepts. These were concepts that we both believed in but yet at certain times in the project we scrapped these ideas. Why? Why else, we were behind schedule and we didn’t have time. Thinking about it, I said to him that this was precisely the time we should NOT ignore these practices. Why is this? Because when you are close to a deadline and running out of time, you don’t have time for mistakes. And paired programming is a great way to minimize mistakes. I’m not trying to say here that Pairing is the only way to prevent issues. The point is that we shouldn’t rush our work when we have limited time. I know that while we were in our frantic pace to the finish we made some mistakes. We then had to fix those mistakes before we released anyway. If we had taken our time a bit more, we would have saved resources in the long run because it is faster to write better code than fix bugs.
I thought of this conversation today. I was listening to Studio 360 on NPR and heard a great quote. The show had guest host Alec Baldwin interviewing actress Laura Linney. Laura Linney was recalling a quote by some other woman, I don’t recall her name, who was a Broadway director, if I recall correctly. In any case, this woman used a phrase all the time that really expresses my thoughts from above. She used to say “Ok people, we are almost out of time, we better slow down”. Isn’t that perfect? I’m not positive that I’m quoting it correctly, word for word, but I am close enough and the point is clear.
I hope to remember this quote and repeat it a lot.