Tag Archives: devops

The Art of The Bodge

As tech folk, we seem to obsess over best practices, beautiful & maintainable solutions, and using the newest technologies in smart and elegant ways.

But what of the humble “JFDI” bodge? When everything is on the line – when something has failed in production, critical functionality isn’t working and we can’t rollback, or we need to urgently build a tool or run some hacky solution to resolve some regulatory data issue fast – I will say it, I love a good bodge job.

There is something about the context – the high stakes, the pressure, the business importance, complications and genuine impact of it all – of scrambling to chuck together a dirty console app written with hopes and dreams, or getting out the virtual duct tape in some other way, and ultimately saving the day. It’s exciting! And often the most creative solutions come from these moments, where requirements don’t exist aside from “fix it”. I’m unashamed to say it – dirty bodge jobs are unabashedly my favourite part of being a software developer. These are some of the situations that make you feel alive and like you’re using some creative ingenuity to find the best (not “ideal”, but quickest and most effective for the issue) resolution, and having some real impact, rather than just churning out code in sprint after sprint monotony. 

I think I might be in the minority here – but I also think my skills lie, generally, not like many developers who I admire (i.e. I don’t consider myself a super skilled writer of code), but more in being able to find the balance between what is the “best” engineering solution vs what is the best solution for the context

And ultimately, I find I get more satisfaction, these days, from something I did having a good real world impact, rather than the work itself being a satisfying piece of engineering. I’m not knocking the positives of those who prefer the latter, by any stretch of the imagination – it’s just not what personally gets me out of bed in the morning. 

Yes, with perfect solutions and perfect code, we wouldn’t need them, and businesses would be better off without these stressful, scary situations – but while that is realistically unattainable and not all factors and edge cases can ever be fully considered… I am pretty happy to get to do a bodge job!