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Don't do this in production · Stephen Mann
Mann was called in to help find the bugs in an about-to-launch product, where the developers turned out to be eager, but inexperienced:
<p>“Move fast and break things,” they said. It turns out that’s a pretty bad idea when your business relies on a small number of large customers. Broken products tend to scare them off, which in turn tanks your business. There’s a lot to be said for building things that work, but “move slowly and steadily towards a goal” just doesn’t have the same ring.

In reality, there’s a balance between moving fast and and moving slow. It’s difficult to communicate that balance because every type of product demands a different balance. I suppose that intuition comes from experience, which is a terrible answer for someone trying to learn.

What’s a new developer to do?

The natural tendency seems to be asking the internet. It turns out that this is incredibly effective.

It’s also incredibly dangerous.

This company continued to work with me after that product launch. I reviewed a significant amount of code, helped mentor their developers, and built new projects for them. Everything went swimmingly.

One day, I ran into a section of code that triggered my spidey sense. I could have sworn that I had seen it before. Sure enough, after pasting a line into a search engine, I found the exact section of code in a blog post. Naturally I read the whole thing, right up to the line that said, “Don’t do this in production.“

Yet here it was, tipping its hat at me from the front lines of a production codebase.

It didn’t take long to find many sections of code from similar blog posts. Almost all of the blog posts either wrote a disclaimer or should have written one. They all solved one small piece of a problem, but took many liberties in their solution to make it simpler to read. It’s understandable. Most readers appreciate brevity when learning a concept.</p>


Ah, the joys of StackOverflow. Great when you're learning, but as he says - dangerous if used unwarily.
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