Don't Live with Broken Windows

Don't leave "broken windows" (bad designs, wrong decisions, or poor code) unrepaired. Fix each one as soon as it is discovered. If there is insufficient time to fix it properly, then board it up.Perhaps you can comment out the offending code, or display a "Not Implemented" message, or substitute dummy data instead. Take someaction to prevent further damage and to show that you're on top of the situation.

We've seen clean, functional systems deteriorate pretty quickly once windows start breaking. There are other factors that can contribute to software rot, and we'll touch on some of them elsewhere, but neglect accelerates the rot faster than any other factor.

You may be thinking that no one has the time to go around cleaning up all the broken glass of a project. If you continue to think like that, then you'd better plan on getting a dumpster, or moving to another neighborhood. Don't let entropy win.

Fix bad designs, wrong decisions, and poor code when you see them.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master

— by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas