Poetic patch derangement syndrome (PPDS)

Good software comes first. Poetic patches come second.

Here are the unequivocal qualities of good software:

- It works
- Is easy to understand
- Is easy to modify correctly

Whenever the borderline romantic idealism of perfectly-consumable patches, broken down into gripping, chronological, tabloid-tier spoonfuls of literature emerges, you know you’re compromising on one, and probably all, of these qualities. Refactors become recursively neglected and increasingly impossible.

Compounded by a culture of “merge for me, nit for thee”, where engineers with little-to-no skin in the game shamelessly block other people’s work by virtue of it not adhering to some design pattern, or not being “data driven” enough, you should actually bet against your own ability to PR and merge a refactor PR, because nobody’s breathing down the team’s neck to yolo-merge + ship it, and therefore your PR sucks, doesn’t matter, has 100 things that could be even better and therefore Needs Improvement. Under that kind of duress, any sane person will give up on all that.

Eventually the software becomes obscure and unfocused, like a man with torn up clothes on the side of the street. And the product inevitably suffers.

Life is hard, and sometimes reading is hard. Similarly, some PRs aren’t going to be a walk in the park, full of fairies, fairy dust, and an hour long back massage. Instead it can be disorienting and frustrating. Autophagy and street-induced growth always feel this way. Spend an hour in the gym training hard, and you are going to be experiencing pain. That pain is an indicator that you are becoming stronger and more robust in the long run.

You have to let the software grow into something with defined shape. And sometimes that means letting it grow the way it wants to: naturally -- full of wiggly and winding detail and seeming lack of order.