Skip to Main Content


Ship of Feceus

Pronunciation: [ship uhv fee-see-uhs]


A common flaw in enterprise-level software development, whereby continuity and back-compatibility is prioritized above all other concerns. This prioritization causes obsolete or poor choices made early in project development to hamstring future development. Common signs that you are working on a Ship of Feceus include reinventing the wheel in ways that make no sense without historical context, or completely eschewing evolving standards among your peers, in favor of an “incremental solution”. Incremental changes are certainly preferred over breaking changes, and not all back-compatible changes are a Ship of Feceus, but often times a large change either requires many smaller, user-invisible refactorings to be released first, to prepare for the eventual change, or it requires a single breaking change to do the job right.

Variations: The Grandfather’s Ass, Rebuilding the Shit-to Shrine

Related Terms: Technical Debt, Spaghetti CodeDefactoringNot Invented Here
read more »