“Entropy requires no maintenance.”— Robert Anton Wilson

 

I saw a sign that read, “if you don’t schedule time for maintenance, downtime will be scheduled for you.”

This phrase had such ancient wisdom it made me wonder if Socrates said it first. Here are some of the thoughts the sign brought up for me.

  • I had a relative who didn’t think to do oil changes in his car. His car scheduled the downtime for him.
  • I often see barns in disrepair, some leaning toward collapse. 
  • The more features you develop in a product, the more critical maintenance becomes.
  • If you don’t do maintenance on a product you are building, more and more technical debt will accumulate. The more crud accumulates, the slower the work will go until you are forced to do something.
  • It is so easy for a user of apps to see which ones are not maintained. We probably all have favorites that no longer work because they have succumbed to too much technical debt.  

Later that same day, I went outside, planning to run a couple of miles. However, by the time I got to the trail, it had started raining. I gave up the plan and quickly came back inside.

When I came back in, a family member said to me, “If you don’t take time for maintenance, it will be scheduled for you.”

I went back outside for a nice, albeit wet, run.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,


Alan Willett

Photo by Marc St on Unsplash

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