Rich Hickey: Would you want to be on a team that only did what was easy?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

A dangerous attitude: “I like this because its easy for me right now.” Rich Hickey talking at the Rails conference. In the obvious case, this is a wonderful criticism of Rails.

He asks if anyone would want to join the Foo Fighters if they were the Kazoo Fighters. What if they felt guitars and drums were hard, so they only played kazoos, because kazoos are easy?

We should make decisions based on the work we need to do, not because of what we feel or fear or want. That is, we should not do things that are just easy for us, but rather, because things take us toward our ends in the simplest way possible.

His says: “We can be creating the exact same programs that we make today out of radically simpler components.”

Simplicity is something we can measure objectively: how much is something “single braided.”

“Easy” used to mean “to lie near” as in, a town that lay near another town, as therefore easy to reach. This is subjective, and different for each person — a town may be near you but not near me. Likewise, the use of a technology might be easy for you but not easy for me, especially if you have used that technology for many years, whereas I have never used it.

Simply allows Architectural Agility.

Architectural Agility is more important than any other kind of agility.

If you attack complex software with agile processes you will have trouble. If you attack simple software with any process, you will make progress.