“What are the odds your software is going to change?”[David] Cook asked in a jovial blare. “Oh, 100 percent. It’s going to be around for 10 years. You’re going to have to modify it more times than you can imagine. You’re gonna have to change it for different hardware and software environments, change languages three times, and go through four personnel turnovers. What you have to do is fight as hard as you can to keep quality up so that ten years from now you have something left.
“It’s like, when you grab the software that’s in your hands, it’s sand. And as you stand here doing the best you can, sand starts leaking between your fingers. Ten years from now there’s a few grains of sand left, and that’s all you have to work with. Your job is to keep your hands as tight as possible.”
From page 259 of Scott Rosenberg’s “Dreaming in Code.”