Why We Like to Write Frameworks

By Deane Barker on July 14, 2008

I’ll get to your application in a minute – First, we need to build the framework: Probably the best description I’ve read explaining why programmers love to write frameworks.

I […] have encountered the common mindset of falling from application mode into framework mode. I find it’s common with really smart programmers who take pride in their technical ability. Creating frameworks is fun because the programmer is the customer of the framework. Writing software for yourself can be more fun than writing software for someone else. Writing a framework is writing software for yourself. On a client’s dime, this is typically not acceptable.

I love writing frameworks. It’s intoxicating, I think, because you’re not solving a single problem. Instead, you’re writing something to solve more than one problem at a time, which is efficient.



  1. “Instead, you’re writing something to solve more than one problem at a time, which is efficient.”

    I think this is where you have to be careful. My personal “policy” is unless I have at least 3 use cases, I shouldn’t be trying to write a framework. It is not efficient if when you a new requirement it turns out you completely did not expect this type of change and you have to rewrite the “generic framework”

  2. Secretly, I totally agree. A lot of frameworks get written to solve hypothetical future situations that never occur.

  3. That said… damn is it fun to write them. I completely agree with the earlier part of your post. Writing a framework lets you at least try to think how someone like you (the developer acting as a client) might want to talk to a framework that solves problem X.

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