Wham! Bang! Thank You Ma’am!

There is a class of coder who believes it is their solemn duty to complete tickets as quickly as possible, to get things done regardless of the consequences, to ‘finish’ things as rapidly as they can, and get their code merged despite objections during code review. There are two sides to this, and it’s definitely a world-view that’s worth discussing here.

Driven by deadlines

In their defence, there are always pressures to complete work on time, and there should always be the opportunity to improve code as it evolves.

However, this is a very myopic standpoint that frustrates and irritates those who feel that the big picture should always be considered.

Because of the drive to deliver, as many corners are cut as possible. Unit tests are often missing or incomplete. Anything that’s missing from the specification is ignored, and certainly no additional documentation is created. Performance and security concerns are secondary. In some cases, even functional requirements are skipped if they don’t make sense instead of seeking clarification.

Elvi have a tendency to claim done far too early, and tend to force things through code review rather than accept constructive critique.

Lack of refactoring

This approach also fails to take into account that late in the project refactoring is so expensive and thus rarely happens. It’s also dependent on good unit tests, which Elvises (Elvi?) seem to have trouble producing.

Rapid delivery

This does tend to lead to a quick turnaround of tasks, or so it would seem. Features get ‘finished’ quickly, at least in the progress reports. If it wasn’t for the limited testing, this might even sound like a good approach.

With the right support, and on projects with a ‘move fast, break things’ policy, Elvi can thrive. They also do well where changes are transient and can be undone or reworked with a low or zero footprint.


Elvi are seen as hacky. The leave a mess, which makes them highly suitable to throwaway work like proof-of-concept development, or pre-sales. Unfortunately this kind of quick-and-dirty, cowboy coding is harmful when the product must be maintained, particularly when Elvis has left the building.