The pleasure of small apps

Although I love working on decent sized projects, I also really enjoyed writing a throw-away application yesterday. I needed to compare the size of over 150 archived directories to their originals, and also a bunch of corresponding CDs.

I used to use VB6 to knock up things like this, but .NET has provided an alternative. I wrote a WinForms program with C#, and it worked fine. It took about three to four hours, gave me the directory sizes, and won't be used again.

Because it won't be used again, and because I needed the results quickly, I didn't write unit tests, comments, documentation, help files, a schedule, or a spec. And I loved it! As much as I would usually write or use these things, and absolutely know that they are necessary for creating good software, the most fun bit for me is actually writing the code. Wow, do I dare admit that to myself?

I guess for a footballer the training, meeting the press, travelling at weekends and so on are the equivalent essentials that aren't quite as exciting as playing a match. However, the match playing would be poor without them.
10 October 2004