The Workflow Is Not About Code

Stu Halloway was recently a guest on the Cognicast where the conversation turned to process and ideas.

The following quote from that conversation caught my attention:

Pull Requests is the tail wagging the dog, it says that the workflow is about code. It’s not. The workflow is about ideas. The workflow is about conversations between people.

Stu is referring here to the Clojure contribution process but to me, the idea invites a broader application. He clarified that this process is not anti-code, but pro-idea:

We really want to see the statement of a problem, a statement of alternatives, and a statement that is easy for outside observers to assess.

I think this is a great reminder that in our practice we should seek to understand the problem so well that the code follows as a matter of course.

None of this means that you shouldn’t validate your ideas with code. Sometimes you just have to get an idea out of your head, give it a good spank, and see if it cries.

In the future though, I plan to do more work that starts with conversations instead of code.