We’ve always done it that way.
How many times you have heard this punch line and how many times implemented the same in your work or life? Sounds like a Déjà vu, isn’t it?
In the book Code Complete 2, Steve McConnell has referred to a very nice story to emphasis that we should not always adhere to the above line. The story goes as below:
Beth wanted to cook a pot roast according to an award-winning pot roast recipe handed down in her husband’s family. Her husband, Abdul, said that his mother had taught him to sprinkle it with salt and pepper, cut both ends off, put it in the pan, cover it, and cook it. Beth asked, “Why do you cut both ends off?” Abdul said, “I don’t know. I’ve always done it that way. Let me ask my mother.” He called her, and she said, “I don’t know. I’ve always done it that way. Let me ask your grandmother.” She called his grandmother, who said, “I don’t know why you do it that way. I did it that way because it was too big to fit in my pan.