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Quality requires iteration

You’re not going to get it right the first time. You might not even get it right the second time. But if you iterate enough, you’re going to find a good solution.

Too often I catch myself overanalyzing the first pass at a problem. I spend too much time thinking about how the whole system needs to work, or all of the edge cases that need to be addressed, and trying to plan the Perfect™ solution.

But it is never the case that plan A is the final solution. So why spend so much time agonizing over the first attempt?

Think about the problem that you need to solve, sure. Consider the edge cases that come to mind, definitely. Then move quickly on to building something.

Write a function once to figure out how it needs to work, and then write it again now that you know more.

Throw a bunch of messy components in a single file while you figure out what the UI requires and how you can compose them. Then refactor and move things into their own files (with individual stories and tests).

If you have time, iterate again… and maybe again. Each pass should get faster and more direct, because your knowledge of the problem is increasing the the picture of the solution is growing more clear.

Plan to make several attempts at the solution. Plan to delete what you’ve written. Plan for several rounds of code review. Plan to plan less up front and more as you go.

Quality in programming requires iterations. So lean into it.