Re^6: Legacy Code: "Dominoes = Bad"by armstd (Friar)
|on Apr 29, 2011 at 15:55 UTC||Need Help??|
The assertion that writing maintainable code implies more work is a falacy. It only implies different work, not more work.
Maintainability does not imply anticipating all future requirements either. It only implies anticipating that requirements will change, and therefore the code already developed will need to change as well.
You cite the Agile Manifesto, but miss that the basic definition of agility is ability to change (direction, speed, etc). The basic definition of maintenance (bugfix, enhancement) is change. Agility is maintainability.
The Agile Manifesto also says "Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility."
The most common aspect of non-maintainable code that you'll find is poor design.
Good design will breed better code reuse, higher cohesion, and looser coupling. All of these are also fundamentals of maintainability.
Maintainable code is less work, not more. Its different work, requiring design expertise. Expertise that not all programmers have, and some programmers just develop naturally, and don't even realize they're doing so. For programmers without design expertise, talent, or aesthetic, yes maintainability is a lot of hard work, perhaps of questionable value. The Dunning–Kruger effect in action.