As web developers we can all agree that most of us enjoy programming because it allows us to build beautiful, dynamic, applications from practically nothing but a keyboard, monitor and an internet connection. Lets face it, typing a few lines of code and getting visual confirmation almost instantaneously is pretty cool! On the other hand, with this great power comes great responsibility, most of us are learning these skills constantly to become employed either as a freelancer or as part of a team of other developers --both of which do carry some responsibility. This is where being the MVP and making the MVP are two different hurdles that all of us will have to overcome. Personally in just the first few phases of Flatiron's Bootcamp I have come face to face with this challenge on many occasions.
What do I mean by MVP and MVP, are they not the same? Letter wise, yes. Acronym wise, absolutely not. Becoming the Most Valuable Player on your team (even a team of one as a freelancer) and making the Minimum Viable Product are vastly different when it comes to setting out project goals and achieving your deliverables for a client, employer, or your instructor. Personally, I have succumbed to the allure of wanting to code 15-30 different ideas all at once and make the next epic web page the internet has ever seen...for a project that had 3-5 deliverables required to satisfy expectations. Those deliverables are the Minimum Viable Product, and are nonnegotiable.
The urge to become the MVP of your team can be challenging to resist. When it comes to road mapping towards the deliverables and trying to finesse solutions to code bugs along the way, ideas are great. However, a lot of ideas in the beginning, paired with excitement for a project, can lead to you and your team spending precious time coding the 'many' instead of coding the 'few'(main deliverables). Its been my experience that the best course of action is to write out what you need (the minimum viable product). Once that is clear to everyone involved, a wire frame --or drawing-- of the components that will render the content, data, and functionality in your app to meet the the core deliverables can act as your road map. This is not to say that brainstorming ways to accomplish the MVP goes without some creativity; coding is a learned art where many paths can lead to the same goal. New and seasoned programmers just need to strive for and meet the goals set by the MVP first, then the framing and additional goals can be accomplished.
An individual or team that meets the standards as the minimum of their goals first, then stretches them with new ideas and creative thoughts are the real MVPs. They all just have to...