Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The self-boss mind hack


I'm having one of those days when I could spend some free hours of useful research - but instead of doing that I'm thinking what should I write about. That's without a doubt the most pathetic blogger habit of mine. But eventually came down to a small mind trick that I realized might worth sharing.


Couple of years ago when I started working as a developer I made many foolish decisions. Features wasn't finished, or wasn't that great, secure, well developed, you name it. Actually imagine all the personal mistakes one can do - but otherwise can be avoided with a little extra care.

These things are not issues where you were lacking the knowledge. It's simply because you made a premature or lazy decision. The way these cases ended were quite typical. I was talking with somebody else - or with the lead or head of the team. Usually it was a question that made me realize I clearly made a wrong decision.

That kind of stuff makes me nervous and generates stress - which is nice to avoid next time. And then I thought if it's really my negligent manner - why not to prevent these situations by creating these questions for myself? So it's like instead of having your boss asking the question from you the same way you can do that too. Imagine these questions as typical examples:

  • Did you ask the client if really that is what s/he want?
  • Did you make sure it's going to be secure?
  • Did you check the server log?
  • Did you check the error message in Google?
  • Did you create an update hook?
And many many similar question. The mind-hack by asking these is that increase your responsibility subconsciously. If you don't take these you might sneak away from these chores. Like creating an update hook, or checking the error logs. If you ask yourself you will get to your goal faster - and at the same time you make a better result by validating it from many perspectives.

It's not a checklist, it's quite close, though. I've found myself caring more if I imagine the face of an expert developer (or my boss) asking me if I did make a great code, or checked the requirements. At the end I would like to say with a clear conscience that I did my best. However I know - it's like learning, you don't learn for your parents. That is quite true. But at the same time not all client projects make you as happy as a nice pink Krispy Kreme noughnut could do.

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Peter

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