Zen and the Art of Software Maintenance

In most trades, there is no expectation that work will focus primarily on new construction. Most expected work is repair and maintenance. Software is a trade that has not embraced this looming transition. From our "Cambrian explosion" over the last twenty years through to maturing and consolidating markets, the coming decades will bring a lot of maintenance work.

Yet we really don't respect software maintenance work or dedicate resources to aiding it...we as an industry continue to focus on new construction as the primary task. I've dedicated some thought to some of the requirements for being a good software maintainer in hopes of motivating my own thought on the topic and hopefully yours.

So what can a software maintainer be expected to do? Roughly in order from first contact:

last update 2017-02-21