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Deon Pillsbury
Deon Pillsbury

Posted on • Updated on

Developer Principles ✨

Experience Obsession

People’s experiences are what keep them motivated and fulfilled. Customers or Employees who have great experiences with products, services or support tend to buy, use, and promote them more. Developers who have great experiences with APIs or tooling advocate for them and drive adoption. People who have great team and work experiences will be more committed, work better together and build better products.

Bias for Action

Avoid paralysis by analysis, it is impossible to predict every issue which may arise, so start executing early and make adjustments based on actual issues instead of hypothetical ones.

Simplify and Automate Everything

Always be thinking about how you can make things simpler to use, more intuitive and whether it can be automated. Whenever a new manual task is proposed: updating a release version, adding a quality scanner, tracking a status of something, etc. the first analysis that should be made is do we actually need it and if so, can we automate it.

Continuous Improvement and Evolution

Always be improving and evolving the things you build, your skillset and yourself. There is constantly new technologies and products arising as market leaders so if you do not keep up with the changes, you will be left behind.

Failure is Required, Just do it Fast

Someone who has never failed has never tried, or at least has not tried very hard. Failure is a requirement, expect and encourage failure. Just make sure to get comfortable calling out, accepting and learning from failure quickly. A culture where everyone is expected and encouraged to fail will take risks on innovative solutions which can make or break a product.

Just In Time and Continuous Learning

You do not need to know everything about a topic to get started, usually a simple google search and a few articles or documentation can get you up and running with any technology. Learn just enough to build what you need and you can add more depth in the future, trust your ability to learn as you go.

Prioritize Customer Feedback

When we consider what makes projects successful, it ultimately comes down to popularity: how many people use it and/or are willing to pay for it. The only reason people will do this is if the product provides them with enough value directly or by solving a problem they have in their life. Because the success of a product is entirely dependent on its customers, it is critical to prioritize strong feedback mechanisms and integrate them into your product roadmap. Never assume that you know more about what your users want than they do, and do not hesitate to ask for their opinion early in the design phase.

Put First things First and Stay Focused

There is always many different things going on at any given time with many different asks from people. If you do not prioritize what is important then you will lack strong direction and can waste your time on things which do not help you meet your goals. Take the time to write out what is important and prioritize what will help you achieve them. Execute on this plan and stay focused.

Build your Community and Win your Champions

Build your community by providing them with value, creating a support room, discussing and implementing their feedback and having a closed-loop feedback system a.k.a following back up with them once feedback is being worked on and implemented. This will show your users that you take their ideas and feedback into account and promote community discussion on how things should be implemented. Through this process, you will have users who participate the most and become your product champions who will answer other users questions, provide the most feedback and defend and promote your product to others.

Embrace your Strengths

Projects involve many different components, such as architecture, programming languages, tooling, infrastructure, DevOps, design, marketing, and more. You may discover that you have great talent and passion in a particular area. Embrace your strengths, as they will differentiate you and ultimately lead you to a project that you enjoy working on, which often tends to be the most successful ones.

Stand your Ground and Be Resilient

Many successful projects, products or companies will tell you about how people thought they were crazy or tried to challenge them or shut them down early on and if they had listened then they never would have been successful. In the corporate world everyone has efforts they are trying to drive and your project may disrupt or inconvenience their effort and they may try to shut it down or convince you not to pursue it but stand your ground for what you believe in and be resilient.

Mentor and Give Back

Most of what you know was probably learned from other people, whether that was in person, through videos, books, blogs, or other resources. Without them, you would not be where you are today. Pay this forward, mentor people who you believe in and give back to your community by sharing your knowledge.

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