Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Addition By Subtraction

There's a popular quote: "Perfection is achieved not where there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away" - Antoine de Saint Exupéry. I've heard it referenced many times in the software engineering (enterprise) world. We think a lot of adding new features, however, good code has little extra fluff. No code that is overly complex, everything doing what it needs to do, no more no less. This keeps the code base trim, easy to understand and easy to adapt.

The same is true for ourselves. Sometimes we focus too much on adding by addition. However, there is often truth in addition by subtraction. For example, minimalism. All those antiques in your closest and sporting equipment that you haven't used in 5 years. You might be better off selling them, turning them into cash or items that you actually use. Instead that extra stuff is actually weighing you down.

This is not true just for stuff. What about the people in your lives? Do you have friends that might be weighing you down? Possibly negative people who don't put wind in your sails but rather fill your life with drama? This is a tough decision, but maybe its time to cut them loose.

What about your habits? Do you do things because you've always been doing them? Maybe there's a tv show you follow that has run its course but you still watch it anyway because it used to be good and so its just a habit to watch it every Wednesday. What about those extra snacks that aren't so good for you.

A lot of times we look to become better by adding something. Some knowledge, some trick, some item. However sometimes the change is staring us right in the face. Its the things we already have, its who we already are that we need to change.