I’ve been writing (and blogging) for about ten years now. I’ve written lots of things over the years and I have learned how much better my writing becomes when I remove words upon editing. So much improvement can be found that I often feel it might have been best to have not written anything at all in the first place.
Over the weekend I came across a quote that gave me pause. It is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and has to do with writing as well:
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
After reading that quote I started to think about data. I often see people trying to cram more data “just in case” in might be needed later. I will also find databases that are so badly abused that entire teams of people agree that “a re-write is needed”. They will discuss at great length what to do about sunsetting one system as they build another system with EVEN MORE crap than what the first one had. It can be surreal to experience, too. Some people are so attached to the old system you would think it was a family member or pet. They fight to keep someone from pulling the plug while others talk about what snacks they need to order for the wake.