rewrite the code from scratch ?

The quote is new to me, the concept is not.

The single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make: rewrite the code from scratch. (Joel Spolsky)

I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I agree that rewriting software from scratch is a painful process, so it’s good to see that affirmed. On the other hand, someones just given the thumbs down to the project that’s occupied the last 2 years of my life.

Still, the project is pretty much complete. Let’s hope we’re the exception to the rule.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008 at 10:55 pm and is filed under Coding. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


One Response to “rewrite the code from scratch ?”

  1. Barry Says:

    Andy, I’m at exactly the same point. Our five year old application is showing its age and adding each new feature takes much longer than it should because it’s outgrown its original remit. We’re using ColdFusion and because it’s near impossible getting any CF staff these days we’re considering starting from scratch. So do we rewrite in PHP/Rails or do we continue building a skyscraper on wobbly foundations? The developer in me wants to rewrite but it’s a huge risk to start from a blank slate.

    Sorry to hear that v5 hasn’t been warmly received. I’d ask why the powers that be took two years to offer this decision; why didn’t they review sooner?

    I see you’re in Berlin for RailsConf. Have fun: I wish I was out there myself!