I want to write about an element which makes my life as a developer rewarding and fun.
I found out that most people who I had the privilege to work with have pledged to an unwritten code of honour not unlike a Samurai’s. Let me spell it out:
Code and commitment
- My work is a reflection of my craftsmanship. I personally identify with its quality.
Once I have made a commitment to a project and delivery date, I will do my best to keep my word.
- It is a matter of honour to keep my commitment. I am prepared to make personal sacrifices to stick to my word.
- Sacrifices and commitment are voluntary and driven by intrinsic motivation.
Additional external pressure would be considered a breach of the code: I am already doing my best.
- I openly admit whenever I do not understand something.
Hierarchies are of little importance in a technical discussion.
What matters is the weight of an argument and not the rank of the speaker.
- My colleague’s time is at least as precious as my own.
- I read documentation and FAQs closely.
- I am not afraid to ask questions if necessary. I deliberate these questions.
If it helps my colleague, I will summarize them in a mail prior to asking.
- I take notes when someone gives me explanations. I avoid asking the same question twice.
- I do my best to help any colleague who asks me for help, no matter from which department, unit or location.
- My help is only limited by project pressure or if single colleagues push the boundaries.
- I make it as easy as possible for others to use my work through sound documentation and code structure.
Thus I minimize anybody’s effort who needs to use my work or step in for me in case of emergency.
I support new colleagues on a moral and technical level.
I have experienced this code mainly as a German SAP developer in Walldorf.
Yet I believe it is quite universal and not limited to one location or even company.
So why write about it?
After all, this code has a strong bias on duties which can make your life hard.
If you are the only person to adopt it, you are doomed:
Others would take advantage of your good-will and time.
Chances are and you would drop it very soon.
However once a group of people adopts it, things look very different:
I was lucky to work with teams where this was the case and I found work enjoyable and rewarding. I felt empowered, my working relations were based on mutual respect and high motivation.
Would I expect we all follow it 100% at all times?
I wouldn’t – we are human after all and different people give different weight to different points.
Yet I want to write this code down as an example and reference.
From a company perspective, I believe it has always been a strong contributor to efficiency and success.
Let us re-discover our strengths!