You Ain’t Gonna Need It

Hi everyone and welcome to the week 4 of the coding journey blog. For this week’s post I will be talking about a principle called YAGNI which is an abbreviation for you ain’t gonna need it. Now this may seem like a simple topic, but it is very important concept that often gets overlooked in the early stages of programming.

You ain’t gonna need it is one of the key principles to extreme programming and the XP co-founder has states that you should always implement things when you actually need them, never when you just foresee that you need them. The basic concept behind this principle is to do the simplest amount of work that would also get the program to work. The goal is to cut down drastically on unnecessary work, and as a result of this there will be higher productivity rates as well as a more simple to understand code. Efficiency is key when it comes to programming. A software can have many lines of code and functions, but this will be an issue if there are much simpler ways to implement those same functions with a lot less work. The process will take a lot longer with more features and down the line make it much more difficult to maintain.

There are a lot of problems that can occur if you try to implement a feature early when it is not necessary at the moment. There are three things that could happen which include having the wrong feature, having the right feature but it is built wrong or the most ideal option is having the right feature that is built right. Now with these results of the features there is also the outcome of costs. The different costs include cost of building, cost of delay, cost of carry and cost of repair. The cost of building is all the effort spent on analyzing, programming and testing a feature. The cost of delay is the lost opportunity to build and release another feature now. The cost of carry is the complexity added by the feature to code, which makes the software harder to modify and debug. The cost of repair is the effort spent on modifying a feature because it is not exactly what you need now. Now these concepts are the input and output as they go hand in hand. If you make the wrong feature then you have to pay the cost of building, carry and delay. If you make the right feature but it’s built wrong then you have to pay cost of repair, carry and delay. Now with the best option if you make the right feature and it is built right then you just pay cost of carry and delay.

In my personal case, I plan to follow the YAGNI principle in all my future projects because it help simplify projects and saves time. It improves my productivity and prevents unnecessary work and problems.

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