The big ball of mud

There’s a beautiful software development concept named the Big Ball of Mud.

If you’re not a developer (I’m not either but am a friend to a few), you may imagine software development as an elegant exercise in architecture, but that’s rarely the case. A big ball of mud is what most software looks like under the hood because budget, priorities, deadlines, skills, resources …

The beauty of the Big Ball of Mud though, is that however messy, it works! It is unthinkable to just throw it away and start from scratch. There’s so much you just don’t understand about the system; you can never know what you’re getting yourself into.

Draw your own parallels here; I’m sure you’ll find that you have your own mudballs to deal with, and although it’s fun to play the architect, you can provide the most value only if you’re also willing to get your hands dirty.