We often hear the story of someone building something quickly that becomes popular, only to be embarrassed by the source code’s appearance. More often than not, these are small side projects designed to solve a problem they’re facing. There’s something important to be said about this approach: focusing on solving real problems rather than obsessing over code quality.

The Myth of Perfect Code

In the world of software development, there is a myth that good code must always be clean, well-structured, and elegant from the start. This ideal often leads to paralysis by analysis, where developers spend too much time planning and refactoring rather than building and solving problems.

The Reality: Useful Code Starts Ugly

In reality, many useful and successful projects started with messy, “ugly” code. When you’re solving a problem for yourself, the goal is to get a working solution quickly. The code doesn’t need to be pretty; it just needs to work. Once you have a working solution, you can iterate and improve the code. The initial ugliness can be refactored over time as you gain a better understanding of the problem and solution space. Prioritizing problem-solving over code aesthetics ensures that you’re addressing real needs. It’s more important to have a rough solution to a real problem than a perfect solution to a theoretical problem.

The Beauty of Ugly Code

There is a certain beauty in ugly code. It represents the raw, unfiltered drive to solve a problem. It embodies the spirit of innovation and the willingness to iterate and improve over time.


Don’t be ashamed of your ugly code. Embrace it as a starting point. Focus on solving real problems and let the code evolve naturally. Remember, some of the most useful projects began as messy, unpolished solutions.

So, next time you’re hesitating to start a project because you’re worried about code quality, just dive in. Build something useful, and worry about making it pretty later. The world needs solutions, not just beautifully written code.