A note from Rach Smith's digital garden

Replace the curtains

Added: September 19, 2022

Tags: development

The main bedroom of our house has large glass doors and windows that open onto a small balcony. When we moved in there were large curtains to cover the glass, but some of the tracks were broken. It was hard to open and shut them.

I love having natural light fill the bedroom, so I would fight with these curtains to get them open every morning. I would swear at them as I tugged and struggled to get them to move. Sometimes I would give up and leave the bedroom mostly in the dark.

I did this for over a year. I knew I should replace the curtains, but I would make excuses not to. My husband and I are not at all handy, so there was no way we were going to DIY massive floor-to-ceiling curtains. I would have to pay to get them installed, and that was going to be expensive. And I would have to call the curtain company. As a typical millennial, I hate calling people.

Finally, I bit the bullet and had some professionals measure and install beautiful new curtains. They glide open and shut like an absolute dream and can fully black out the room at night - the best way to sleep. Every day when I got up and opened these curtains, I would feel a sigh of relief and appreciation. It was the best purchase I made all year.

Sometimes, in an ageing codebase you can end up with parts that are just like the broken curtains. You fight with it every day. It is super annoying to work around it and you regularly get frustrated. But, to change it would take a bunch of development time, be expensive, complicated and maybe even cause a regression or two. So you leave it.

At CodePen we’ve been replacing our old, broken curtains. Every time I’ve doubted whether it is the right thing to do until I experience the sweet relief of being able to slide the new ones. I know I can do a better job of taking care of the rest of the house now.

Does your codebase have any old curtains that you should fix?

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