Oh, I don’t buy this for one second. Forced to do incomplete work? I won’t work for people like that. And I completely disagree; unfinished means unfinished and “technical debt” is the same bullshit buzz nonsense as “stories.” Developers who cut corners under pressure need to find their balls. I won’t even cut corners on a hotfix while phones are ringing with enraged customers. NO. I will NOT do incomplete work. Deadlines come from ass-kissing PMs who put in 30 hour weeks and those PMs can kiss my ass.

Software development is unrecognizable to me now. I will not work on a team ever again, I own components and I say when they are ready. I will collaborate with similarly senior people and I will mentor junior developers but I won’t share code with people who cut corners.

If you say that new feature requests render finished to unfinished, that’s a nomenclature error.

I worked with a guy who talked about technical debt. He cleared bugs by doing dirt-stupid work like creating fictitous data rows on the fly in code just so he could say the bug was gone. He talked about “branch hygiene” when I complained about 20 moribund branches; by the time we developers quit there were 130.

I was at a division meeting at Microsoft when one of their hotshots at the podium told us that memory leaks were an inevitable fact of life. I stood up, interrupted him, and said that memory leaks are sloppy work and there was no excuse for them and how dare he endorse mediocrity. Managers stared daggers at me, the speaker was furious.

I kept my job, because my manager told them I walked that walk, that my servers didn’t leak one fucking byte in months of pegged-CPU operation. The ones I started with had to be restarted every four hours to reclaim leaked memory.

I’m one of those people you read about. But I don’t call myself a superstar. I call myself an engineer. I don’t call Agile people engineers.

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American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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