Monday, August 7, 2017

Software Engineering Maxim #19: Goodwill can be spent. Spend wisely.

(This is one of a series of Software Engineering Maxims Which May or May Not Be True, developed over the last few years of working at Google. Your mileage may vary. Use only as directed. Past performance is not a predictor of future results. Etc.)

Doing good work accumulates goodwill. It is helpful to have a pile of goodwill, it tends to make interactions smoother and generally makes things easier.

Nonetheless, it is possible to spend goodwill on something important: to redirect a path, to right a wrong, etc. Sometimes spending goodwill is the right thing to do. Don’t spend it frivolously.