For every cliché there a grain of truth and a seed of doubt.(1) First, why is this advice given and knowing that, when can you go against it? Now, let’s talk about what in this example is “the road.”
Where the rubber meets the road
When I am developing a product, I am developing that product. Any work done on tools and infrastructure beyond it takes away from my core objective. Following this analogy, the “road” is a common infrastructure developed and maintained by many; meaning that it will be a fit environment for running our tires along. We can focus on making the best tire, not worrying about potholes.
When the road doesn’t go where you need…
In 98%(2) of software development practices, the existing infrastructure will take you all the way to your goal.(3) The primary objective here should be to triage the tool chain. Ask what functionality…
- … is sufficient: for these portions to use-as-is
- … is near: see if existing work arounds and extensions exist
- … is missing: determine if the functionality is truly needed and if so implement extensions to the existing tools
Joy and job satisfaction comes from those times when for good and just reasons you do re-invent the wheel. Today I’m here to say, let us do it one wheel at a time until the world turns around new.
- You could say that in doubting this you are going against the grain.
- In the 2% case, you should milk it for all it is worth.
- Mind you, I look at this photo and think “If I were the road runner I would paint something on here and run right through.”