Tom Wolfe tells us that “you can’t go home again.” It was a adage he stole from Ella Winter, the British activist. It’s certainly difficult for people like George Webber, the chief protagonist in the novel that made Wolfe’s phrase so famous. Webber infuriated his hometown with a novelistic depiction of them.
Yet the same is true for developers. You can’t go home again. It’s hard to look at old code. It makes us cringe; it can make us blush. “Why the hell did I write it like that?” If you’re not embarrassed by old code, then you haven’t learned anything in years. The same is true for old websites: Beware of the Dog (2001).