Posted on January 31, 2015 by

More Writing

I think it’s about time to start this “post a day” idea. Fred Wilson does it. This guy seems pretty consistent about it. More importantly, I’m starting to send long emails which are simply not being read. I need another outlet to vent. Or people are going to stop talking to me altogether just to avoid getting stuck in conversation.

I certainly have enough half finished thoughts in my drafts folder. I’m thinking I can stretch this out two weeks. Maybe three. I can’t simply ramble, I have to do something productive. So with that in mind.

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I missed the product release notes yesterday (it’s Saturday). So I’m finalizing them them now. I put out release notes every Friday afternoon so everyone on the team can keep up with the new features and resolved bugs. It also lets people know I’m not sleeping all day. That isn’t a joke. It is actually important to do this. Especially when you’re a back end developer.

I keep an open notepad all week, and add important features and fixes that people care about. Those are the notes I share. I always have one line: “Lots of small bug fixes and refactoring“. That is a catch all for everything I don’t talk about.

Keeping an open notepad for release notes forces me to do at least 2 or 3 things each week that people will notice. I may spend 4 long grueling days profiling and writing unit tests for an Objective C API we are rolling out. On the fifth day, I know I better write a new graph report. Or maybe update some email templates to look better on mobile. Or anything where people can see the output. Otherwise the rest just doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. Non-developers only ever work with production level software, usually from very large teams. They only see software that, generally, works very well. But they have no idea what goes into it.

On the plus side, they have no idea how long it takes to change the color of a button. So take all day. 3 seconds to change the color. 8 hours to refactor and write tests for the rest of the system. So thats what I do. I spend a day every week making highly visible changes, no matter how simple.

It’s a balancing act. I really think the difference between a normal coder and the mythical 10Xer is how you spend the other 4 days.