This article will make you a better developer

“Documentation is automation.”

“Every manual iteration must move you closer to better automation.”

“A few extra minutes spent improving the system, pays off in all future iterations.”

I read an article today which changed my life. I’ve set a reminder to reread it every 3-months.

I want to improve my developer skills, my engineering skills, my communication skills and it hit all of those points.

Have you ever had a task which in the beginning took you a while to do, but now you’ve gotten better at it, you can do it quickly?

But the thing is, you can only do it quickly because you’ve done it a number of times.

How could someone else do what you do?

How long would it take you to teach them?

If it’s longer than a few minutes, you need to create something they can learn from themselves.

The IT world is messy. There are different libraries, different APIs for everything. If you’re building something you want people to use, you should release the documentation along with it.

And if there are functions which people continually require your help for, such as, features on your web application (like cancelling a membership), you should write down a list of steps you usually do to fix them and either:

  1. Document the steps so others can do it.

  2. Automate the process entirely.

Computers love repetition. Humans do not.

If you’re on a team, encourage collaboration as soon as possible. Release your code to others earlier than you think. The sooner someone else on your team starts to see your work, the sooner you two can start collaborating to make it better.

Add comments, “this code is messy, it needs to be improved…” or even “this code doesn’t work, I’m not what’s wrong with it, I’ll get to it soon”.

These are some of my favourite takeaways from Manual Work is a Bug.

Read it. Reread it. Share it with your team.