If you build it, it will run Otesanya David March 28, 2022

If you build it, it will run

If you build it, it will run


Twitter can be a toxic dump for ill-informed and ill-mannered opinions. It’s also where Microsoft’s Scott Hanselman hangs out, sharing wisdom from his decades in software. Hanselman isn’t one to preen, so sometimes it’s easy to miss a gold mine when he shares it. Like, for example, maybe you want to understand how he knows stuff. How he has become deeply familiar with key technologies. Was it through school? Or perhaps an open source project? Or maybe some work assignment?

Although each of those approaches has likely deepened Hanselman’s understanding of tech, he gives a much more basic response: “Run real sites and scale them.”

Who knew it could be so easy? Actually, that’s his point: It’s not. The more we build, the more we learn how to build. As Hanselman summarizes: “This is the tip. Not tutorials. Make a thing. Register the domain; get the cert; get an A on security headers; submit it to a store; fix SEO; add Open Graph, features; make a PWA. Run a site 24/7. This is how I know stuff.”

As useful as building stuff is for learning how to build great software, Honeycomb’s Megan Gleason hopes that you’ll stop building so much software in the first place. Why? Read on.

Build less; do more

Hanselman advocates learning by doing, even as Gleason argues against writing new software in the first place. Of course, when Gleason declares that we should “BUILD LESS SOFTWARE,” she’s not disputing the value of software. Far from it. Instead, she’s pointing out that, “Centering too much on adding new functionality will break your product, your users, and your team. Maybe your business.”

That seems bad. It is bad.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.


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