The big pile of code

“Now this really is proof: I am doing a much better job than she is”. I found myself standing in the big boss’s office, next to my then ‘colleague’ developer. We weren’t getting along very well. And to prove he was the better developer, he had PRINTED both my and his code of the last two months. We were working on different modules of the same software. His pile was a few centimeters high, mine was tiny in comparison.

After being perplexed for a few hours at this brutal attack I found this the funniest thing that ever happened. Any developer could have told the boss more code for the same functionality is always a bad thing. Less is more. Little did I know it wouldn’t be the only time quantity was valued over quality in my projects.

Write more words

Only a few weeks back one of our analysts got this sort of feedback. The document he had produced, although it contained each item of information necessary and all the stakeholders were happy with it, did not contain enough WORDS. It was the project manager of this large, very structured and process based company that said this.

Accurate and pleasant

Let’s put the time behind us where the value of work is based on quantity. Let’s forget document templates that require to introduce the topic in 4 different ways before allowing us to actually make some sense. Let’s only write stuff that people want to read, are happy to read, can read in one go. It will improve overall happiness, and it will certainly greatly improve everyone’s motivation.

This is what we do in our projects. Our analysts write stuff that is both accurate and pleasant to read. It makes efficient use of business’ time, they don’t need to book half a day to go through endless documents. It turns communication with developers into a breeze. Now how’s that for a change!