Intended audience Software engineers, particularly those at large companies or organizations.
Origin General software engineering experience.
Mood Cautionary.

I particularly like this characterization from Leaving Haskell behind (2023):

I would describe good Haskell code as “brittle”, and I mean that as a compliment. People tend to casually use “brittle” to mean “prone to breakage”, but in materials science what “brittle” means is that something breaks without bending: when a brittle material reaches the limits of its strength, it fractures instead of deforming. Haskell is a language where abstractions do not “bend” (or permit invalid programs) but rather “break” (fail to compile) in the face of problems.

In my career so far, a great deal of the code and systems I’ve written has had to be maintained by generalists who work across a variety of domains and have no idea what’s going on (including future me). Writing brittle code has been the best approach to ensure maintainability.

At work, right now, I am writing an internal web app to expose some of our tooling nicely. Nobody on our team, me included, is a front-end engineer!

In Smash Training retrospective, I remark that I regretted using Vue for various reasons. The lack of static checking has made it difficult for future me to make small bugfixes. Implicit dependency tracking as a framework decision, as in Vue, turns out to be quite difficult for future me to manage mentally. (For example, there are caveats with arrays that I encountered during maintenance.)

Even though React’s alternative approach of explicitly declaring dependencies is rather heavy-handed, it ends up being more tractable for future me, and probably for my coworkers as well. My technology choices were insufficiently brittle to accomodate future maintenance.

The situation is quite different for specialists, who can make the investment of becoming familiar with a system to gain productivity with it. Someone accustomed to implicit dependency tracking will benefit from not having to write the dependencies explicitly. Due to my work domain, I am usually not one of those people!

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