A Real Measure Of Your Core Values And Principles

How a person behaves during the positive times and upswings in life is not a good indicator of that person’s values and principles. Find a person in a difficult time, a low point in their life – someone who has been working excessive hours in a highly stressful job; is having serious family issues or has lost a loved one; lost their job and doesn’t know how to make financial ends meet; etc etc. Look at the behavior, the attitude, and the outlook on life and situations that this person has. That’s where you’ll find the real measures of that person’s worth, and their values and principles.

Values and Principles In Software Development

If you’re a software developer who believes in the current Test Driven Development, Behavior Driven Development, SOLID principles, Domain Driven Design, yadda-yadda-yadda… what do you “fall back” into when times are tough and deadlines loom?  Do you allow entropy to set in and revert to old ways? Do you start to code-first and think about tests later? Do you follow the tried-and-true processes and methodologies of your team? Do you throw process out the door and kick it into cowboy coding? When push comes to shove, what principles do you follow and what do you truly value in your software development efforts? Learning curves and struggling with new processes aside, how you respond to pressure and deadlines in your development efforts is a sign of your actual values and principles.

So… when you are horrendously stressed out at your office and begin to lose your motivation, focus and drive – what habits do you fall into?

About Derick Bailey

Derick Bailey is an entrepreneur, problem solver (and creator? :P ), software developer, screecaster, writer, blogger, speaker and technology leader in central Texas (north of Austin). He runs SignalLeaf.com - the amazingly awesome podcast audio hosting service that everyone should be using, and WatchMeCode.net where he throws down the JavaScript gauntlets to get you up to speed. He has been a professional software developer since the late 90's, and has been writing code since the late 80's. Find me on twitter: @derickbailey, @mutedsolutions, @backbonejsclass Find me on the web: SignalLeaf, WatchMeCode, Kendo UI blog, MarionetteJS, My Github profile, On Google+.
This entry was posted in Philosophy of Software. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
  • Hopefully the habits you fall into are the good ones you have spent time and effort on forming.

  • Does just trying to survive count? It depends on the pressure really. If it’s a matter of a drop dead production issue it’s not always pretty, especially when the customer is calling the owner and it’s 4:00 AM and the imports *need* to run or their is going to be an SLA i$$ue. Otherwise plan towards your work ethic and pare it down as close as possible, maybe only the primary scenario is tested before you have to push the big red button.

  • Joe

    I’ll be honest — just heads down jamming shit out (with a lot of TODO’s) when it absolutely has to be done. I’ll wrap some tests around it later.

    Someone once talked about IKEA furniture and hand-crafted Amish furniture by ways of an analogy, My customer needs a kitchen table to sit at, and could care less about hand-carved table legs (which they get when it’s not so stressful)

  • @Joe
    “just heads down jamming” is equivalent to building furniture with wood that termites have had their way with. This chair of termite wood works fine if you weigh under fifty pounds and only sit on it with one cheek.

  • This makes me feel bad ;-) I sometimes find myself abandoning good practices when under pressure. Damn. Doing the right thing isn’t sometimes just takes too long…

  • The only good practices are the ones that work for a given situation.