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Don't overconstrain the problem

Lately I've been thinking about when it doesn't make sense to re-use code. One case that I've come up with is when using old code overconstrains a new app.

Let's take for example the new web design trend of subjugating user account creation beneath the importance of actually using the web app (see "Sign Up Forms Must Die"). One of my business analysts would very much like to see this happen on a new application. I can't very well use our old authentication mechanism on this new app because authentication would behave totally differently. My business analyst has also prioritized this story higher than a story that says, "As a user, I want to be able to come back to a project, so that I may edit it in the future." This prioritization will inform how we implement authentication. In this case, it is not appropriate to re-use the old authentication code. No story should impose a design constraint on a story more important than it. Had the prioritization gone the other way. Things might be different.

Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 6:28 AM Agile , Design | Back to top

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