In my role as a software developer I have come across many strange attitudes to coding, but none so strange as the fear of changing code. A good example - I was working with a team trying to use XP techniques. I was hired as a XP developer to strengthen the team and get them over a busy patch - not as coach, but simply as someone who had developed Java code in an extreme agile environment. No problem there. The product we were working on required new functionality added to it. Since the current software structure did not easily accommodate the new stuff I mentioned in the stand-up that I would be restructuring the internals to make it fit more elegantly. This kind of refactoring is normal practice in any agile team, and is necessary to evolve the design with emerging requirements, keeping it coherent and stopping it from descending into a meaningless Ball Of Mud antipattern. I thought nothing of it. But one of the senior engineers threw his hands up in horror at the thought. "