Broken Windows Theory

graffiti

This theory, most famously put into action by New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, helped lower crime rates city-wide over a short period of time. Removing graffiti and cleaning up the city lead to lower crime and murder rates.

Monitoring and maintaining urban environments in a well-ordered condition may prevent further vandalism as well as an escalation into more serious crime.

It’s the small attention to details that matter most. Technical debt and shortcuts in your software and are contagious. By themselves they can easily be overlooked, but piled together it’s no longer fun to work in that codebase.

Just as graffiti makes a neighborhood rundown, so too does messy code affect an application. Pay attention to the small things and don’t release junk. Take a stand in your part of the application and the rest will follow.