It’s officially safe to say, we live in a Post-Agile World. Though we fully realize that software developers will likely read that with a shrug because (a) most of us have been shipping software in real-time for years and (b) we really don’t have time to argue because there’s another release coming up.
Continuous development gives companies the option to release code every week, or even every day. And while this capability has given rise to some amazing technology advances, it also has some unintended consequences. The concept of the Minimum Viable Product has led to build-as-you-go-development, where we work to make solutions that are just (and only just) as thorough as possible.
In fact, today, MVP should probably stand for Most Viable Product. We run fast and push functionality first, spec’ing and planning on the fly, cutting corners where we can and architecting as we go. We’re all building planes as we land them.
But, in fact, what we’re flying is often just a pile of technical debt.
Look, we’re not judging. We’re right there with you. When it comes down to building it well or building it fast, fast will pretty much always win. Great programmers know when to cut corners—clicking over to GitHub or Stack Overflow to hunt for best practices that we can build upon to keep things moving. Or Googling code snippets that worked well in the past and can be easily modified for your current project.Hunting through chat streams and email to find solutions to problems that have already been solved.
And, along the way, the technical debt mounts. Code suddenly isn’t so elegant anymore. It works…but will it scale? The plane landed…but how many more flights can we make?
Now ask yourself a different question: what if you could buy some time to go back once in a while and fix your technical debt? Or be able to fully understand the code you’re using in order to make the next release work that much better?
That’s where we think ANSWR can help. ANSWR is an instant short cut for search. It’s an elegant way to tag, catalog and annotate your searches on the fly. So let’s say you’re searching Stack Overflow and you find the answer you’re looking for. With ANSWR, you can tag it in your parlance, comment on how you used it—and let others know how you modified it to make it work for you.
Best of all, ANSWR is a simple Chrome extension, so it becomes native to your Google search. (We even have an ANSWR Bot in beta for HipChat, and more on the way.)
It saves you time. It saves your teammates time. And the more time you save, the more you can focus on making your code great. Or…okay, who are we kidding…the more time you can spend releasing even more than before. <sigh>
So give ANSWR a try. Because, chances are, your next plane has been cleared to land and you’ve probably got a lot of building left to do.