What Did You Patch?

It’s colder here in the Boston area. We have icing and thaws, which leads to “broken” street surfaces. My town patches the street with more tar. It works pretty well, unless the hole gets too large. In that case, the town considers repaving the entire street. (They don’t all the time, but they do consider it.)

On my daily walks, I see many street patches. The patches prevent deep holes, but the surface is not flat. I was wondering what you patch.

Back in my youth, I would wear jeans until they wore out, often at the knees. I patched those jeans and continued to wear them until my mom said, “Are you leaving the house looking like that.” I often said I was. She did not approve.

As a software developer back in the ’70s and early ’80s, I patched my code. We had limited space in each “page.” If you hit your 256 bytes (or whatever it was), you had to jump to some other location, stick your code there, and jump back. If you had a chance to return to that design, maybe you could redesign the entire module to make sure you could do it all on one page, or create subroutines that worked better. This patching is what we now call refactoring.

I bet you patch differently now if you are a developer or tester. We rarely have limits on software footprint. We can patch with abandon. That is not always a feature.

If you’ve ever apologized for something, you patched the relationship. You addressed the issue or concern that caused the relationship to become unsteady.

What do you patch now? How do you patch it?

Do you patch as the municipalities do, looking at this hole or that uneven piece? Or, do you take a look at the whole and decide what to do? Maybe you do small patches until it’s time to make a bigger decision, to rearchitect the code, change the relationship, or throw out those jeans?

There is not One Right Way to patch. We need to, and it might be useful for you to consider what and when to patch. What are your choices? Can you become more adaptable if you patch? Will the patch cause you to work or live in a more rigid way? Can you use the Rule of Three to provide yourself other options?

That is the question this week: What did you patch?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: