Ayende gives an example of how to set the bar high. The broken windows theory talks about what happens when you let your guard down.
In software this means that if you start setting the bar low, for example allowing more bugs, or stop refactoring for a while (because now is not the right to focus on this) , you actually make it easier for these things to happen more.
IO can say this is a mentality, that I’ve seen and experienced both on a personal level, managerial and team level. On the personal level, I gave in to pressure to complete tasks, by saying: it’s done. Although it was not done-done.
As a manager, I allowed team members to continue working the same, although it was obviously not effective. But we had a project to deliver. And if it is coming from a manager, it’s no surprise the team accepts this as guidelines for work: the release date is more important than any other metric (like quality).
We’re all guilty of this at some point of time. And kudos to Ayende for sticking to his values. It is my punishment today to try to educate people in the same position I was, thinking the same way I did, to do the opposite…