Adding a feature

As a developer you may be contacted “out-of-band“ by a customer or “interested party“ and asked to add a feature to a piece of software. If somebody asks you to add a feature to a piece of software, just say NO. Politely. Adding features to software (even features that seem simple) can be a real pain. Unless the person who asks you to add the feature has a compelling reason why the feature should be added, and the authority to add it, and you’re at the right stage of your development to add it it should not be added. The seeming simplicity of the feature should play no part in you decision to add it. Does this seemingly simple feature have implications I don’t understand? In a complex piece of software not knowing what you don’t now when adding features can get you into a lot of trouble. Also the effort to test and document the new feature are things that are often not considered by developers. Features added late in an ad-hoc manner as a result of a request are often not scoped as well as features conceived of at the start of development.

How to say NO politely

  • That sounds like a great feature for version 2