‘You mean the cheap cr*p?’. This is what I heard, when I ask a colleague in London about a local souvenir shop. Unfortunately for me, fortunately for the cheap cr*p shop, I bought a not so beautiful Big Ben replica and brought it back home. My wife was not so happy. The only good thing was that I was able to buy 2 for 3 or 3 for 4. You know, this kind of deal.
When I bought The Cheap Cr*p, I felt that I signed a simple contract containing two points. The first part was easy, it was about being cheap. That’s it. The second was not that obvious. It was about being replaceable or ready to be thrown away.
The cheap cr*p situation recently reminded me of all these not so good code pieces that we all meet and endure. They probably were introduced as a quick fix, something, that is cheap in terms of time spent on the fix. They do not fulfill the other part of the cheap cr*p contract though. I could easily throw away my not so beautiful Big Ben. I did not use it to build foundations of my house. I do not use it as a oven knob. It’s just a piece on a small shelf, that sooner or later will be cleaned up.
Imagine that you’re under pressure, delivering your product on the deadline. You want to make this small change, ensure that your work fulfills the cheap cr*p contract. Remember it. It’s not only about being cheap. The first and foremost is about being easily replaceable and having a short expiration date. Otherwise, this cr*p won’t be so cheap at all.