That's not not possible
When a developer says “I’m sorry, but that’s not possible” he’s often lying – or at least willingly bending the truth to fit his agenda.
For the most part it (whatever it is, often a feature request) is possible, but any number of potential conditions trigger the above answer:
- It doesn’t have an apparent clean code solution.
- It requires a lot more effort than the expected gain.
- It’s a bad idea, and it’s easier to sweep it off the board as an impossibility rather than explain why it’s a bad idea.
- It actually isn’t possible given the requirements and constraints that are currently in place.
So the next time a developer gives you that answer, you should probably press him for his reasoning. He might very well be right, but at least you know the real reason.
My standard reply these days is “Everything is possible, given enough time and money. How much do you have?” – my next line tends to be “oh, in that case; no, it’s not possible”.