Do you remember that catchy Beatles song?
Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something I think you'll understand When I say that something I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand
So what made me think about this? That frustrating construction of the new M5/N1 interchange in Cape Town!! When you’re sitting in traffic, you can’t do anything but look and think. And I’ve seen this scaffolding get taller and taller and wider and wider and longer and longer and more and more people appear on it each day.
I know that one day, they will remove the scaffolding and the concrete will just hang there in mid air on those massive pillars and walls that they’re busy building, and I won’t be sitting in traffic any longer, and it will all just work.
What a shame that software is not like that !! So many people get turned on by scaffolding. And The Beatles sang on …
And when I touch you i feel happy, inside It's such a feeling That my love I can't hide I can't hide I can't hide
And just like the M5 construction, so much scaffolding gets built, and so many people climb on. But then, they don’t climb down. And they don’t tear down the scaffolding. And it just stays there mashed in with the concrete bits. And then they ask people to use it. And it takes strain and then it’s a performance problem, or a load problem, or it just crashes down.
I do use scaffolding, but most of the time it’s in a spike and more often it’s in a test, just to get me over my point of fear. Deploying software with scaffolding is just dangerous and negligent. I really don’t want to drive my car over the M5 interchange while those thin steel pipes are holding up the concrete slabs.
But above all of that, the most important scaffolding is social scaffolding. It’s better to provide human scaffolding to support each other on a team that is focused on delivering quality software. It’s worse to plug in weak struts in the code base that will just collapse when the next developer builds on top of it. Very un-ubuntu!
So, the Beatles song still holds true, but only for social scaffolding.
Yeah you, got that something I think you'll understand When I say that something I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your hand I wanna hold your ha-a-a-a-a-a-and