Speed vs perfection is a false dichotomy

I recently saw a job ad touting that the advertised team went for speed rather than perfection. It made me wonder how I’d answer the question “do you choose speed or perfection” if I had applied.

At first, I thought I’d answer speed – but that seemed inappropriate because there are some things I would refuse to ship a product without, like proper password hashing. On the other hand, I routinely ship things with strategic tech debt, known issues, and missing features for the sake of time.

For a moment, I thought this must have been one of the shades of gray situations.

Except, perfection and speed are not antonyms. If you think about time as a constraint, then perfection is a frontier on the two axes of speed and quality. It’s the highest quality thing you can get in the given amount of time.

Maybe I am a perfectionist, but a pragmatic one.