Practical KISS

Practical KISS

KISS is a software design principle, which stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid. But it might sound offensive to some people, so I will prefer Keep it Stupid Simple. KISS is based on the principle of minimalism and simplicity. The acronym - KISS is a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The acronym was reportedly coined by late Kelly Johnson, lead engineer at the Lockheed Skunk Works.

This principle emphasizes that systems perform better when they are made simple. This concept does not only apply to software design, or software development, but can be applied to any industry. Now, simplicity does not means undermining the capability of a system. It just means that every system or program should be made as simple to understand as possible, while maintaining its features and capacity to perform tasks.

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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. ~ Albert Einstein

KISS in Practice

Keeping simplicity in mind, KISS can have several applications.

  • Break down a problem into several small problems.
  • Don't think that simplicity is associated with stupidity. Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most correct solutions.
  • Break tasks into several small sub-tasks.

Photo by Anthony
Photo by Anthony

  • Don't create complicated solutions; you might yourself end up getting confused with what you have created.
  • Simple systems are easier to scale and manage.

Final Thoughts

Engineers tend to overcomplicate systems and they end up adding features and capabilities which are not required by the end user of the product. Systems work better when kept sample, rather than made complicated. Efforts should be made to achieve efficient results with minimum complexity and maximum simplicity. This is the whole crux of the KISS principle.

Simplicity in Engineering
Photo by Kei Scampa