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You cannot afford to waste time on just coding

2 min min read - July 29, 2014

As a developer I have quite high self-esteem. I had a huge luck to work with great mentors and evangelists in the beginning and take part in few cutting edge projects. It lead me to situation when in web technologies I felt like a fish in the water. Knowing mechanics of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, AnsiSQL in each details made me feel that there is nothing that can surprise me. And in fact I was able to build almost any web product. So what's wrong? That is what you expect from senior developer, right?

And here we forgot about few key things, that always can affect hugely your business, if you hire experienced developer with (maybe) too strong self-esteem (like me).

  1. YOU CAN'T afford to stop learning - from early 90ties where HTML started to day web technologies made multiple 360 degree turns. Technologies trending 2 years ago are already obsolete. Just that a look what made introduction of Node.js and namespaces in PHP to the industry last few years.
  2. YOU HAVE TO give your team time for R&D - calculate it in your budget, not in their free time, give areas, tasks, introduce reporting of results. It will benefit for you both.
  3. YOU CAN'T afford to stop planning - industry is fast, everyone is in haste. If you don't allow your team to do basic planning, even in the most agile environment - you will fail. Data, product goals and basic logic has to be written down and updated all the item.
  4. YOU HAVE TO maintain plan and documentation - documentation will help you be more flexible on resources and will validate each change against general rules in their origin.
  5. YOU CAN'T afford to stop testing - testing web application is not clicking through all the pages. You can hire million of "monkeys" to do that, still result will be bad.
  6. YOU HAVE TO start with testing - encourage your developers to use Test Driven Development principle. Define first flows and expectation (documentation) and create code delivering that. You will save time on testing and improve quality.
  7. YOU CAN'T afford to stop retrospective - you can't just go on and work over a list of issues and requirements. You need a look back on where you are and gather feedback.
  8. YOU HAVE TO introduce retrospective routines - both regards inner processes and way how your team works and regards product. You need to use it as a user and check, if it works for you.

And remember. You can ignore that points. But sooner or later you will fail anyhow.

About me: I am over 13 years in IT industry. I started as a home-grown developer, evolved to a senior engineer, architect, manager and startup team assembler. I try to combine economical education and knowledge collected over the years to help entrepreneurs reach their goals. My observations are based on experience of myself, my colleagues and business partners. Many non-IT learnings are lessons given by my mentors, bosses and investors basing on their own failures, successes and learnings. Every project I join benefits from it and I hope you can benefit too.

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