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Development Fun ??!!! – Maintenance a four letter word

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  • Some reasons why I hate maintenance
    – 90% of the time, it’s someone else’s code. Someone who does not follow the ABAP guidelines and writes selects in loops in select in subroutines in loops in… you get the idea…
    – It’s not a creative process. I’m not a monkey!
    – Documentation is often missing, just like the original developer.

    Luckily, I’m no longer involved in maintenance, as I don’t even code anymore. I’m an Architect now. I still hate maintenance though. Even if others have to do it! Because that means that someone, somewhere, did not follow the damn guidelines that I as an architect wrote and distributed.

    I don’t care if you call your variable R2D2_LL_humblede-bumble, but if I ever catch you writing a select-endselect in a loop again, I’ll condemn you to that other despised task: Writing documentation for all of eternity!!!!

    was all of that aloud?

    • I’m laughing…  SELECT/ENDSELECT.  Oh my goodness.  BUT I have code that is VERY old and still in use with the dreaded select/endselect.  I would condemn anyone I could who is writing new code – I can’t for consultants – to writing documentation forever! 

      Another problem I have, it’s just me, is when I am code reviewing something that is not written using objects.  My really bad one is when the OO ALV is NOT used.  Are you kidding?  That one is so much better than the function module.  If it’s not the end of the project, I make the person redo the code to pull the FM out of their code and use the OO version of the ALV.  (It is in our guidelines)  I try to do the same for programs written without objects.  But that is a harder one.  Our guidelines do not say we have to write in objects.  Most of our consultants can’t. 

      Out loud – no of course you didn’t say any of that out loud – I can just read your mind.

      I agree on most of the points.  Sometimes I work on project where I spend 60+ hours working to get it done on time.  This is at the end – crunch time – in theory.  After that, I don’t mind doing some maintenance with little to no deadlines.

      You know there is that rare individual that likes maintenance.  Creativity?  Maybe not.  But truly analytical, detective style – that’s what they have better than I.  They have the ability to find the answer to why a program isn’t working as it should.  That to me, is a great skill!  The greatest detectives can find an issue with SAP code that is not in a note.  Or sometimes in a note that is impossible to find.

      Me – I’m at the other end – with you!  That is, when I’m not burnt out. I really don’t like maintenance.  Documentation.  We are FDA regulated so we always have documentation.

      Ah but you knew all / most of this from the blog above!  And I DID say it out loud!

      Happy Tuesday – thank you for the good laugh!  I needed it.  I’m working on maintenance right now.


  • Hello Michelle,
    Even before I completely read the blog,I have my comments ready for this blog of yours.
    Tell me Why?
    Pre-requisite of interviews:
    At least two implementation projects.
    What if the first project of a fresher is a maintenance project.How much will he learn.Compare his learning with his counterpart in implementation project.NO.
    However some positive aspects: Maintenance makes you strong.It enhances your analytic skills, makes you faster.But in this particular case there should be additional ways to keep members motivated.
    Also, there are cases found while in implementation one total aspect of development was missed and has to be done in maintenance, in shorter time.
    Whether one likes or dislikes, has to be part of maintenance as and when required.


    • Great points!  Maintenance does make you strong.  It can also teach you how the company likes the code written.  So freshers and even very strong developers coming to a new client, if they look at the code out there it will tell them how it is normally written.

        • HA!  Thank you for reminding me.  I do owe you / myself that one.  I’ll have to write it!

          No sorry needed.  I’m so glad you commented.  I hope it drives others to comment pro maintenance!  This blog is total opinion what I would rather do.  Driven by what I am doing right now.

    • Oops – I didn’t answer why.  I’m not sure I can. 

      I dislike it when I go into someone’s code and find glaring problems.  Then all I am doing is a quick “fix”.  So I have to leave all that “bad” code.  It could even be some of my code.  So I am just building out a bad program.  I’m frustrated at that point.

      I am one of those people who want it done NOW!  It can easily take a day or more to find something where it is one line of code that needs to be changed.  I get frustrated with that.  My mind can wander, and I have to take a break just to refocus.

      I find myself getting sick of not playing with new things.  I want to touch the “newer” things.  Keep in mind that “newer” things to my company is old technology but something I haven’t worked with.

      So, Why?

      I’m not sure I answered.  I just know I have a short attention span for enhancement to old code / fixes.  I feel like it limits creativity.  Yes, it builds analytical skills, BUT….  I miss the new stuff.  Keeping in mind that I HATE it when I get a technical spec written for me.   I love driving my own solution.  Also I do love maintenance after a long project.  It’s a relief to not have dates to make.  Firefighter fixes – a whole different world.  Those are harder than anything else I know about programming.  Get it done, get it done right, and get it done fast.   WOW!  Those I’ve had to do.  Those are a pressure cooker.  And honestly I don’t mind being the hero.  Unless of course it was my code broke in the first place.