One of my pet peeves lately has been the “not a big deal” excuse used by some developers to resist fixing things that make their code annoying to work with. This most often seems to appear in configuration/setup contexts, where it comes out as “it only takes a few minutes to configure that”. Well, first, no it doesn’t. It only takes a few minutes each time someone has to do it. If it costs your fellow developers five minutes, for example, times thirty developers times ten times a month every time they install something, that’s over four days’ worth of time lost every month. If you’re an open-source developer and your code is used by hundreds of thousands of users, that same five minutes each time can mount up into dozens of person-years. Linux installation and configuration is notorious for being unnecessarily time-consuming. The costs probably add up to more than the entire annual productivity of a rather large city just because some folks were too lazy to fix some glaring problems. And that’s all if things go right. If you make it easy to miss a step or do it wrong, each user might get to spend hours or days debugging “spooky” problems that result. The cost even for a very small user base can actually be quite large.

My other answer is that it doesn’t matter how little time it costs when that number should be zero. Would you say “it’s only a small turd on the kitchen table”? Of course not. Some things just shouldn’t happen, and whether they’re frequent or rare, big or small, matters less than whether they happen at all. Don’t leave turds in your code.