David Heinemeier Hansson. Rewrite! Talk video and Google Hangout

Yay Bootstrappers. We had David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails and co-founder 37 Signals/Basecamp talk about rewriting the Basecamp code base - twice - at this year’s Business of Software Conference. This is the cardinal sin of software according to Joel Spolsky.

Basecamp are releasing Basecamp 3.0 later this month on an entirely new code base and David is joining us next week (16th October) for a Google Hangout to answer any questions that people might have - about the talk.

Video of David’s talk, alongside the slide deck, attendee notes etc, as well as details about registering for the hangout.

All most welcome to join us. Free to participate. Robust questioning encouraged.

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Good talk. Seeing some early screenshots of basecamp was a blast from the past.

I wasn’t convinced by the argument to rewrite though.

Last month I discovered that my product crashed on an input file that consisted of nothing but a UTF-16 byte order mark. So I fixed the software. The product is seven years old, and I still typically find such a bug every month or so. Rewriting would mean that I’d lose those years of bug fixes that have made my product solid. I think this was a major part of Joel Spolsky’s argument against rewriting, and DHH didn’t address this at all.


The Free Google HAngout with David Heinemeier Hansson starts in 40 minutes.

Join us here.


It was an interesting talk. However IMHO DHH isn’t a great speaker. Admitedly English isn’t his language, but I took some comfort from the fact even superstars like DHH aren’t good at everything. Does that make me a bad person? ;0)

BTW rewriting 100,000+ lines of PerfectTablePlan from scratch would bore me to tears.

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