Cover by Joel Spolsky

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thirtyRUB A DUB DUB

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2002

One reason people are tempted to rewrite their entire code base from scratch is that the original code base wasn't designed for what it's doing. It was designed as a prototype, an experiment, a learning exercise, a way to go from zero to IPO in nine months, or a one-off demo. And now it has grown into a big mess that's fragile and impossible to add code to, and everybody's whiny, and the old programmers quit in despair, and the new ones that are brought in can't make head or tail of the code, so they somehow convince management to give up and start over while Microsoft takes over their business. Today let me tell you a story about what they could have done instead.

FogBugz started out six years ...

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