A Fantasy of Unambiguity

In my current job, with its autonomous teams, a question often pops up: under whose jurisdiction should this piece of architecture lie? Common to all my jobs is the question of how to organise code. Which module should this code be added to?

It can only mean one thing: it’s time for a game of Taxonomy!

The rules of Taxonomy: start with the assumption that the system has been miraculously and perfectly divided up, and that there is one true niche to be found as ordained by some natural law of the universe, and then proceed to have about an hour of the most tedious back-and-forth discussion you are ever likely to have in your life.

People really, really like to put things in neat little boxes, but classification is built on language and language is kind of fuzzy. When trying to decide if something belongs in box X or box Y, consider that the answer may be both. Or neither. Or box Z which doesn’t exist yet.

I’m not saying that people shouldn’t try to organise things, but when there are multiple valid answers, I say this with all my love and kindness: JUST PICK ONE! And then we can all go to the pub.