patkua@work

The intersection of technology and leadership

Practicing Root Cause Analysis: An example for programmers

Adding complexity in code is easy. Removing it often takes a little bit more effort. Using root cause analysis, we can sometimes remove this unneeded complexity. Here’s an example my pair and I went through today.

Me: Why is this test breaking?
Pair: Because we have to specify a different value than that one.

Me: Why do we have to a specify a different value than that one?
Pair: Because we have different values in this configuration file for tests.

Me: Why do we have different values in the configuration file for tests?
Pair: So that we can bind services to a different name?

Me: Why do we want to bind services to a different name? (since we have a contract with our clients that never change)
Pair: I’m not so sure… Let’s ask our BA.

Me (to the BA): Why do we want to bind services to a different name?
BA: I don’t know. (Thinks about it for a while…) I don’t think we would.

Now knowing that we wouldn’t ever deploy our application with a different configuration, we got to delete a whole lot of code, and an unnecessarily complicated configuration file. Awesome!

1 Comment

  1. Hey Pat,

    Very interesting situation… I LOVE to delete unnecessary code!!! Awesome! 🙂 And I am a “why guy”. Some people get annoyed with “why’s”, but I thinks this tiny little word can make miracles… 🙂

    Thanks for visiting my blog… and congratulations for yours. Very interesting posts… You are in my blogroll

    Cheers 😉

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