Building habits and building software

Building together.
Living together.
Improving together.

The human side of software development.

Applying development practices against every-day life, and applying life lessons to development

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“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Fake Aristotle (back story if you care)

I’ve been doing a lot of reading about habit building lately, and there are a lot of good authors / bloggers with many different ways of presenting the best ways to start new healthy and productive habits.

Here are a few I’m reading now:

  1. James Clear
  2. Deep Existence
  3. Develop Good Habits

The one thing they all have in common is to attack habits in small bites.

Don’t start with your end goal as the measure of success when starting a new habit.

If you want to run 5 miles a day, and your first day you don’t make it past the end of your driveway before you’re spewing chunks, you might be disappointed with your performance.

But if your goal was to get outside and go for a walk with an easy jog 1 night a week, you’d feel a sense of satisfaction and can increase your goals slowly.s

The gist is to create goals that are so small that you can’t fail.

Small Goals in Software Development

Building applications shouldn’t be much different.

Whether you are rewriting a software system, or building something from scratch, be very careful where you set your goals.

The smaller the goals, the more focused the efforts, the tighter the feedback loops, and the happier the customer.

And most importantly, the less chance of failure.  The faster you release your code, the sooner you will find out about performance issues or incorrectly implemented business rules, or any of the million things that can go wrong in software development.

Small mistakes are easy to fix, so get your release cycles down as low as possible.

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