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Speculations on the Cost of Change Curve

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  • Asim Jalis
    Ben Kovitz recently made the perceptive observation that as code is refactored it becomes increasingly easier to change. The cost of change actually drops. The
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 30, 2003
      Ben Kovitz recently made the perceptive observation that as code
      is refactored it becomes increasingly easier to change.

      The cost of change actually drops. The code acquires a mysterious
      kind of luck or serendipity. New features become easy to
      implement because the framework they need is already there.

      Working in a well-factored system feels like programming in a
      more powerful language. By creating tiny classes and functions, a
      rich set of new functionality becomes available, almost like it
      was a part of the language. Much as Perl/Python/Ruby are easier
      to program in than C, working in a well-factored system feels
      easier than the language one is programming in.

      Things keep getting easier and easier.

      This insight really motivates refactoring. Refactoring creates a
      kind of exponential leverage in the code. Productivity goes up
      with time (instead of down). Contrary to what happens under a
      rising or a flat cost of change curve if the cost of change curve
      drops, change becomes easier and faster. Productivity actually
      accelerates.



      Asim
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