Presented at GeeCON (15th May 2014)
Over two decades ago, Richard Gabriel proposed the idea of “Worse Is Better” to explain why some things that are designed to be pure and perfect are eclipsed by solutions that are seemingly compromised and imperfect. This is not simply the observation that things should be better but are not, or that flawed and ill-considered solutions are superior to those created with intention, but that many solutions that are narrow and incomplete work out better than the solutions conceived of as being comprehensive and complete. Whether it is programming languages, operating systems, development processes or development practices, we find many examples of this in software development, some more provocative and surprising than others.
In this talk we revisit the original premise and question, and look at how this approach to development can still teach us something surprising and new.