re: What my bathroom window taught me about code quality VIEW POST


An interesting article! Excuse my rambling and tangential line of thought (it's my Monday morning train commute so I have time), but I have to admit, the first pattern I thought of when I read this is YAGNI - you ain't gonna need it. Risk analysis: while it's popular to think that everybody wants to see your business, more likely than not they don't care. Let's assume for a moment they did care. Well, the half frosting ensures all apartments below or inline aren't going to see anything. More likely than not anybody who can see anything will be at least two floors up, in which case anything they do see will be indistinct enough to be of negligible concern. That's assuming they even happen to be looking in your window at the time somebody is in there.

So the only people you're defending against are those who are pervy to be staring at your window, at the exact time you're in there, living directly opposite you, at least two floors up, with some sort of zoom lens.

So let's say you encounter such a person. What damage can they do? Chances are they don't know you. If they did see your bottom bits, then bring up so high they probably wouldn't see your face anyway. But suppose I'm wrong there; for them to do any damage they'd have to go to the lengths of establishing your identity, and then what damage would they do? Extort you for money or threaten to send photos to the papers of someone having a shower? Of course I'm being a little bit facetious here, as everybody's risk tolerance is different.

So that's when I go back to YAGNI. Every day when building systems, we assess risks, the expense of realising those risks and the expense of mitigating them. Sometimes the cheap hack is worth the effort. Sometimes though it's simply not with the hassle of doing anything.

I loved your reply 😄. I totally agree about the very low risk of being seen in a bathroom. I guess my main argument for covering a window is not that I want to protect myself, but rather protect my more sensitive neighbors from accidentally seeing something they might find uncomfortable.

I am not very experienced. I find assessing risks to be a very tricky task. You simply need to experience a few system in your career to know there a certain situation might be going. I guess my mistake at the beginning of my career was assuming everything is important and high risk. It's not the worst of mistakes to make, but it caused me to slow down or even block certain features from being developed ☹️.

This is perfect. I totally agree with the YAGNI from the "developer" point of view (in this case her). But there is someone else who can demand features/code, sometimes the tech lead, reviewer, even business (if its a feature). So YAGNI from her point of view, but he demanded to do something, therefore there was a need and it got solved with the least possible cost.

In this case a "better" solution (possibilities mentioned in the post) would be totally YAGNI cause noone needs it. Until a there comes a new boyfriend which is an interior designer :D

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