Think of the next person
I have been lucky enough to work with one manager who was very good at being disciplined and I wanted to share with you some of my learnings and talk about some stuff I have seen of late which really isn’t helpful and how easy they are to remediate.
So what is IT industry discipline, well it’s not something you read much about or will find in books, for example, it’s just something you pick up as you progress in your career and is much easier to pick examples of what not to do and then have a way to make things better.
Making things better should always be at the back of your mind in the IT industry, how can we make things better. I have a developer background so most of what I will talk about will cover some basic stuff yet I still see it on almost every project that I come across.
If you think about the above paragraph of making things better here is a good rule of thumb, imagine the next person who comes along has even less knowledge about whatever the thing is your doing, how can you help make their lives a little bit easier?
Here is a list of some examples
- Don’t leave server folders lying around like New Folder, New Folder(1) – instead, have a proper naming convention and stick to it (think of the next person coming along).
- Don’t leave crap lying around with xxx appended to the start or have DELETEME items lying around anywhere – instead source code everything and delete the rest (think of the next person coming along).
- Don’t leave old deployments lying around instead archive them off, or have a process to delete the last x number of deployments (think of the next person coming along).
- Don’t have one person having vital knowledge about a system in their head, document it, and share with as many people deemed reasonable – instead document everything, yes everything, there I said it, we all have things we should have documented yet we don’t (think of the next person coming along).
- Don’t let people leave your company without doing a proper handover – companies have on-boarding processes, where is your off-boarding process? (think of the next person coming along).
- Don’t move to the Cloud and suddenly we don’t have any diagrams – instead diagram your architecture and keep it up to date, have a process in place to check this diagram is still valid (think of the next person coming along).
The above is much more than technical debt, everyone has technical debt but this is about thinking about the next person.
We can improve, we should improve processes today not tomorrow or next week. Small improvements over time make a big difference.
I am going to be adding to this blog post over time as more things come to me but for now, think of the next person each time you do something on a project or when its related to work – go that little bit extra and before you know it you’ll enjoy working on the project when the processes in place are right.
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