Anybody Can Write It Again


Every now and again, an engineer will share that they are writing a new XML parser or a new Javascript framework. When I ask why, the answer is a mix of “I can’t find something that does exactly what I want,” or “mine is more efficient.” While technically the engineer is right, it doesn’t make it worth their time and it’s highly likely the best next step for the product they’re building.
Just like anybody can reinvent the wheel, anybody can write another XML parser or a framework or any number of other ‘solved problems’. It’s so rarely worth re-solving a problem that you should probably not entertain the idea unless you know for sure why you need to re-solve it. That is, build on whatever is close enough to your needs until replacing it becomes the highest priority.

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