Wednesday, October 29, 2008

6 Days: Making It Right First

So, what's the right answer to yesterday's question? Do I push out my launch date, do I cut things, or what? This is one of the rare times I've received clearly conflicting advice. The advice splits along the following lines:

  • Stick with your date, launch with what you have.
  • Way too much software ships before it's ready. Don't make that mistake.
Gee, that helps.

Right now, I'm just below the threshold of "it's actually useful" and I feel like I'm going to get there any minute. Once I get there, I think it'll be downhill. Kernighan and Plauger famously wrote:
Make it right before you make it fast. Make it clear before you make it faster.
That's the biggest piece of advice, modified slightly, that I'm following right now. I'm trying to make it right and clear before I make it fast, before I optimize my code, before I make it pretty. (Of course, making software pretty wasn't much of an issue in the '70s, so that's my addition.) There's a lot that I want to do that isn't absolutely essential to the launch and I'm trying real hard to focus on just the essential stuff. Making it right means it works, it does what it's supposed to do, and users won't lose their data.

So, despite the rather large speed bump that I just went over, I've resumed my countdown toward November 3rd, but I don't know for sure if I'll be able to launch then or not. I'm certainly going to try.


Mike Koss said...

Given the 4 "lost days" I think it would be fair to push out 4 more days and still call it a 30 day project.

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