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Fix v. Create


Fix v. Create

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Fix v. Create

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C64DBA
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I have recently moved to a job where I am expected to refactor a substantial part of the code base, particulary around BI. This is new work, altough I have to document the old system along the way. Before this job however, I spent about 5 years about 90/10 in maintenance/new work. I have to say though, I like the challenge of creating new systems.
paul.knibbs
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Steve Jones, 2012:
"The more I think about my career, the more I think that I've spent more time fixing things than actually working on new code."

Maurice Wilkes, 1949:
"As soon as we started programming, we found to our surprise that it wasn't as easy to get programs right as we had thought. Debugging had to be discovered. I can remember the exact instant when I realized that a large part of my life from then on was going to be spent in finding mistakes in my own programs."

So, you're not the first to come to this realisation! ;-)

I tend not to be involved too much in debugging SQL myself, but that's mainly because the developers of our main application work at a remote site and look after their own data. Most I've done has been to add some indexes to speed up commonly used queries.
Nakul Vachhrajani
Nakul Vachhrajani
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For the better part of my career till date, I was working on sustenance assignments. These assignments required me to fix bugs in an application that was 10years old. Then, as parts of the application started to be re-engineered, I was pulled into cleaning-up old code and now finally, I am into developing newer areas of the application. In short, for me, it has been 80% sustenance, 20% new development.

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Nakul Vachhrajani.
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Knut Boehnert
Knut Boehnert
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For the last five years it was more like 95/5 maintenance to new development due me supporting a well established system.
However this has changed now that we moved to a new platform, upgraded software and re-developing our ETL layer. Currently it is 70/30 with spikes of 10/90 at days.
Quite interesting to get a new system rolling and trying not to implement too many bugs to find later. ;-)
asdawkins
asdawkins
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My client doesn't always no it, but I do spend quite a lot of time thinking of the best solution to a problem and sometimes I feel bad that they actually pay for that time. But thinking on the maintenance time I safe them, I do not feel bad at all. I am priviledged to spend more time designing new processes.
I would say 50/50.
The maintenance 50% is mostly working on other people's poor designs.

Raphael
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I don't know if you'd call it fixing but I spend quite a bit of time making changes to enhance functionality; functionality that was not in the original design but someone came up with later.

Actually fixing something has been on the decline and I find myself working on new development about 60% of the time.
chrisn-585491
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I spend most of my time fixing other peoples data/code. 50% of my work load would be reduced if people would give a $h!t, follow simple instructions or at least get some elementary training. It's to the point that I consider my current role to be buggy like one of the responders suggested to the original poster and I'm currently studying and networking to get some relief elsewhere. My current shop would score a 1 on the Joel test. Other than that, I like refactoring and maintaining code.
Joe Johnson-482549
Joe Johnson-482549
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For the last couple of years, my job function has only been to implement new large projects. However, I still spend 10-20% fixing issues on old code as we are implementing.
Andrew Kernodle
Andrew Kernodle
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Hm. I'd say I have about a 70/30 split of maintenance to development. At my workplace, all of the business tools in use were coded by the company's first programmer, who left earlier this year. Since the company needed a programmer suddenly, they simply asked him to learn how to code on the job, and from there he developed the programs to run most of the operations here; however, since he was essentially an amateur programmer, there's quite a few design flaws.

The biggest problem is that he didn't future-proof anything he coded, though it's understandable, as he probably didn't know how to future-proof as it was. As such, I spend a good bit of time refactoring his code and making sure it can work with our migration of data from Microsoft Access to SQL Server. In some cases, this is rather unpleasant; the C# interface that runs most of the basic tasks for the business is about 30,000 lines of code, and there's two comment "blocks" (just a sentence each!) in the whole thing. Figuring out exactly what he coded and how it works is... Complicated, at best. Especially when he used the oh-so-fun naming convention with object b having property a, and so forth, so large stretches of code turn out to be just random mishmashes of single characters. Rather tough to handle at times, but I've managed decently so far :-)

- :-D
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