by Leon Rosenshein

You Are Not Paid To Write Code

How’s that for an attention grabber? If we’re not here to write code (or design hardware, or manage projects/products, or whatever it is you spend your time doing), then why are we where.

We’re here to increase business value by making cars that drive more than themselves. Very often that means writing code, or designing or managing, but those are the means to an end, not the end in itself.

I’m a software engineer, so I’m going to phrase this in software engineering terms, but it applies to all roles. Sometimes the best code you write is the code you don’t write. Yes, we all like to start from scratch and build bespoke systems, and sometimes that’s the right answer, but before we go and do that, we really need to think about why we’re doing it.

New systems are fun and easy to build. They don’t have (as many) constraints. They can be exactly what we want, and require nothing else to change, but as  pointed out last week, another layer of indirection is just another place for problems. Every system has its functionality, but it brings with it complexity and unexpected interactions. It brings with it opportunity costs when you’re building it and  maintenance costs. It might very well be the right answer is to build something new, but take the time and be sure before you get started.