Last weekend I had the pleasure to dine at Das Maier. I don’t need to mention that the menu, cooked by the four-star chef, (by the way the first woman to be awarded four stars) was excellent. But besides the culinary delights, it was fascinating what her husband, who served us, told us about the secret of her delicious food: make the dishes simple and leave out everything that can be left out.
It reminded me of our work. Whether it’s about new features or the code we write, often products get better if you leave out an unimportant feature and remove unnecessary code.
Many people don’t realize that it is not only costly to write code; in the long run, it is even more expensive to maintain the existing code.
Good pull requests are pull requests which eliminate dead code. Better pull requests reduce the amount of code by also removing barely used features. Great pull requests add new functionalities to the software and even reduce the number of lines of your app.
Don’t fall into the trap of valuing lines of code above everything else. For example, if you think that some part of your code needs a comment, write it even if it means you have more lines of code than before.
Do you have unlimited resources? Most likely not. So don’t spread yourself thin by adding feature after feature. More often than not, new features mean more code and more complexity. But you want is less code and less complexity.
Don’t add one half-assed feature after another to your application. Only add necessary features, make them as simple as possible, but at the same time as useful as possible.
Wrapping it up
Do less. Make fewer things and try harder to make them simple.