Jonathan Cutrell

Hydra-effect and Void-filling

Formal definition:

From the Greek legend of Hydra. When one head was cut off, Hydra grew another; this counter-intuitive result came from a well intentioned effort to fix the problem, but instead multiplied the problem.

How it applies

As engineers we see this all the time - we skip tests to “speed things up”, but end up creating wild codebases with lots of dark scary corners, slowing us down (especially in moments of critical failure).


Written by Jonathan Cutrell, Director of Engineering at PBS and podcast host at Developer Tea. You can follow him on Twitter at @jcutrell.