Since I first started working as a “professional developer”, my primary focus has been building a lot of different things – fast.
Even when I was younger and spent all my free-time after school building projects, I’d exclusively focus on building lots of little services and command line programs without much regard for their longevity.
I tend to get bored of working on the same thing for more than a couple of months, and really enjoy the thrill of starting projects, building them out until I’m satisfied, then putting them into maintenance mode and only thinking about them occasionally.
Unfortunately, while I’ve always put a lot of thought and consideration into the quality of my projects, I’ve come to realize that there is so much more I could do to not only improve the quality of these projects, but make them more successful, interesting, and usable.
It is now apparent to me that my lack of discipline and interest in ruthlessly focusing on the quality of my software (and life in general) has really been a personal vice.
After meeting so many great programmers and other people over the past several years, I’ve noticed something in common with all the people I admire: they ruthlessly focus on the quality of their projects, above all else.
Regardless of whatever obstacles and hurdles they have to jump over to make things happen, they find a way to do it.
It’s not only incredibly impressive to me, but also very humbling.
Instead of being a person who’s known for the quantity of his output, I’d instead like to become a person known for the quality of his output.
What I’m Aiming For
I realize that saying vague things like “I intend to focus on quality over quantity” is not much use, so I’ve decided to make my journey a little more actionable.
For the next month, I’m going to start out simple. Every night before bed I’m going to think about what I did during the day, and reflect on whether or not I was satisfied with the quality of my work.
My hope is that by bringing a focus on quality into my daily routine and consciously thinking about it each day, I’ll be able to continuously remind myself through the day that I want to be focusing on the quality of my work, and push myself to be better in that regard.
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