The Complicator's Gloves: A Cautionary Tale for Software Developers

This classic tale reminds us as software developers to resist the urge to go down the rabbit hole of an over-engineered solution.

The Complicator's Gloves: A Cautionary Tale for Software Developers

If you've never read this story, you are in for a treat:

The Complicator’s Gloves
Good software is constantly under attack on several fronts. First, there are The Amateurs who somehow manage to land that hefty contract despite having only finished “Programming for Dummies” the night before. Then there are The Career Amateurs who, having found success after that first contract (re…
Don't worry, the whole article is under 700 words; you can read it in under five minutes.

I force myself to read that story at least once a year as a self-imposed intervention.

You see, I'm a recovering Complicator myself.  I'm prone to frequent relapses.  My team goes through a lot of metaphorical rope lashing me to the mast Odysseus-style lest I succumb to the siren song of over-engineered software solutions.  (Unfortunately for them, I'm good at knots.)

When I inevitably break loose my binds, my last defense is to fall back on the author's final words of advice:

"[T]he next time you find yourself designing software, be wary of The Complicators; take a good, hard look at your first revision and just say to yourself, 'gloves.'"


All original code samples by Mike Wolfe are licensed under CC BY 4.0