13 September 2017

Myopia

I just wrote a rather lengthy post in trying to get to the following post. There was some useful catharsis in that process, but I think the salient part is this;

When we are developing software and we recognize a feature but do not fully understand it in the context of the entire system it is incumbent upon us to learn its meaning in the full context of the system before we discard it as unnecessary. Without this context and understanding the consequences of not implementing the feature are unknowable to us. 

Similarly, when we plan and approve work we must keep in mind the larger picture. We cannot fail to implement a feature or approve work that fails to meet a specification out of expedience. Undelivered system features fight for primacy until they are delivered. In considering a feature set in its entirety it is relatively easy to determine which problems to tackle first, however, closer to the metal the issues can become indistinct. We must remember to back off and look at the larger picture before we discard something.


Some features require a large number of individual parts working in concert to achieve a target behavior. Failure to deliver one of those parts leads to a failure to deliver the feature itself.

If we develop a myopic view of our systems we will fail to recognize when we underserve macroscopic features of an overall system.