Thoughts on building vs growing

Many times I’ve heard professionals talk and plan out building software applications. Great ideas they’d like seen implemented, and how it could make things better. Though might not seem obvious – software applications, at least the good, are never built.

Applications are grown.[1]

There’s quite the range of differences between building an application and growing one, but I’ll focus here on few main ones.

Building something is associated with a resulting rigid structure and components. It takes effort to put together, but once build – it’s static. All what’s left is usage, admiration & maintenance.

On the other hand, growing something is an organic process. It rarely stops. It requires a continuous labour of love. You can reap benefits but as you do, you always have to give back, care and nurture.

Growing is more appropriate to the act of developing software. Applications doesn’t (or shouldn’t) reach a static rigid state, they always benefit from continuous assessment, reevaluation and changes. They adjust to surroundings. They evolve, transform and get bigger (but not necessarily more complex).

So – next time you’re discussing new applications – try to see how close the word ‘growing’ is to everyone.

[1] I wish I could remember where first I heard that or who said it.

Migrated Comment – Steven: That’s a good way of putting it. I’m currently in the process of “weeding” an application.

Migrated Comment – Tamer Salama:
@steven Weed: verb ?” /w?d/ ”
Remove an inferior or unwanted component of a group or collection

I bet that’s exactly what you’re doing 🙂