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> What they don't see is that the engineer tossing the ball figured out that the solution they were about to spend 2 weeks coding can be achieved by leveraging an existing library requiring only a couple days effort.

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion, but that wouldn't mean that the engineer shouldn't implement in a couple days and then work on something else. HN loves the trope of the super smart engineer who is smarter than _everyone_ and can look like they're doing nothing.

You don't have to be a "super smart engineer" for that situation to occur. It's completely normal for software features to shrink (or grow) by that much time in my experience.

The engineer probably isn't going to get paid any more for finishing it faster, so what incentive do they have?

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