How Nature Reuses Code

Illustration by David S. Goodsell. This painting shows DNA being replicated in the nucleus. DNA polymerase is shown at the center in purple, with a DNA strand entering from the bottom and exiting as two strands towards the top. The new strands are shown in white.

Our CTO was always telling us to reuse code. If we built from scratch it usually came out months late, upside down and on fire. If we slightly modified something, we had working code within weeks. It was never perfect, but we could iterate on it and it got better.

This laziness is a core principle of agile development, though they call it something…



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Indrajit Samarajiva is a writer from Sri Lanka, grumpily in Oxford for a while. Sign up for my newsletter at, and you can reach me at