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Posted over 7 years ago

On being thorough: DON'T PUSH IT OFF! FIX IT!

One characteristic that I take pride in myself with is being thorough. I really don’t like to miss things. I really take it to heart when I write code and overlook something that someone else catches (whether it be a performance issue, bug, etc.). I don’t like my work to cause additional work for someone else. Of course, you’re going to miss something every now and then. They key is to internalize it. How did you miss this? What general things can I add to my development process to ensure this doesn’t happen again?

Another part of being thorough is fixing problems as they come up. When I’m writing code I tend to get focused on the specific goal I’m working towards. It’s easy to get tunnelvision. Often, I come across some issue that I have to solve or work around to reach that goal. When this happens, DON’T PUSH IT OFF! FIX IT! It’s all too easy to work around the issue and say I’ll come back to it later, but that issue will linger and will cause the same problem for you again (or someone else) down the road.

In some cases reality dictates that you have to put it off. It’s too big of a problem to solve right now given your deadlines or whatever. This is understandable. In this case make sure you come back to it. Make sure it’s on your TODO list. Make sure you have had the conversations necessary to get the work prioritized. Generally this kind of issue is not the norm. I find that people (me included) tend to want push of small problems that really wouldn’t take a long time to solve.

If it takes a half a day or less to solve. DON’T PUSH IT OFF! FIX IT! You may try to justify it by saying that it’s not as important as the goal you’re working towards right now or that it’s someone else’s code so I’ll just let them know. In the grand scheme of things a half a day of work is not that much. The truth is that more often than not, these things are just annoyances that will take less than an hour. DON’T PUSH IT OFF! FIX IT!

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