Code Tax

Everyone knows the aphorism "Nothing is certain, except death and taxes." It is with that certainty that I declare a CODE TAX! Can you afford the monthly payments? What is a code tax? It's a concept similar to technical debt. Let's say you have a code base that's in perfect shape, no major defects, no design issues, the perfect set of interfaces, abstractions, OO modeling. Perfect! Now you have a deadline, project management is breathing down your neck. You decided just this once that you'll take a few shortcuts. You'll write some code without tests, you'll just put in a few methods here, a few global variables there to solve the problem quickly without properly handling various situations. You just accumulated some technical debt, and pretty soon, you're going to have to pay some code tax (yes, i know you don't usually pay tax on debt, but just roll with me here for a minute).

So the next set of requirements come down the pipe, and you are short on time again. You haven't had time to go back and refactor those changes, and so they are just hanging out there. In fact, you have to cut some corners again. You've just increased your tax. The more you take (shortcuts, technical laxity, etc), the more tax you owe! Wouldn't you like to reduce your liability?I know what you need, you need a few deductions! TDD - test driven development. Write some tests, or write a LOT of tests, and you can reduce your taxable code income.

Nobody likes the tax man, so please do your best to avoid him.

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