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Why software engineers hate dealing with legacy code

Old foreign code for programmer

I was recently asked why software developers are dead set against dealing with somebody’s code. I was thinking quite hard how to hit over the fence the essence of this clusterf##k. And decided to use short analogy.

«Just fancy, you were trusted to finish constructing the lab on an island after some other site engineer working on it. You come to visit the construction area and except for a partially-constructed building you found:

  • a huge fan (size of a building);
  • large-size air balloon;
  • and a room chockfull of mops.

On second thought, you throw the stuff away and finish constructing the lab. You deliver the project to scientists but in 5 minutes they run out yelling:


– WTF! It should have worked! – you desperately start calling to the former site engineer:

– Johny, we are having a toxic gas leak down here! What’s the prob?

– Have no f##king clue, It should have worked. Have you changed anything on the project?

– A little, just thrown the mops away…

– Mops were shoring the ceiling!

– Whaaaaat??? Excuse my f##king interest???

– I am saying, the mops were shoring the ceiling. The tanks with gas were over them. They were too heavy so we had to stuff the room with mops.

– You, at least, could have left a note on the door saying the mops were shoring the ceiling. We are having a toxic gas leak over here. What shall we do?

– Turn on the fan! It will blow the gas off the island.

– F##k, I’ve uninstalled the fan right then and there!

– Why for?

– And why have you built 120-tonne fan then? Why couldn’t you simply leave a box of f##king gas-masks?

– I had to search for gas-masks and the fan was with me since my last project.

– Johny, I’ve removed your fan! We are suffocating!

– Then what da f##k are doing there? Use the air-balloon and get out of there!

April 20, 2018

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