In 1915 Harriet Otis Cruft gave Harvard University some money. They used this money to build Cruft Laboratory – or Cruft Hall. Ground breaking research and innovation has been happened here. The physics department – over the years – was just not so good at cleaning up after themselves. Year after year, the more innovation and research they did, the more things began piling up – to the point of having things piled up in front of windows that could be seen as one would walk by the building because nobody wanted to get rid of it.
This led to the term, coined by MIT – “cruft”. Simply put, it is the stuff that’s left behind, redundant, left over, or getting in the way. This has been usefully used to describe defective, useless, superfluous, or dysfunctional code in software, but really can be used for anything that gets in the way when we’re looking for what we need, just because it’s there. Things we keep for the sake of keeping them. Cruft holds us back from moving forward.