Advice: Practice your "Ability to Deliver"

Jan. 2, 2024, 1:04 a.m.
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Advice: Practice your "Ability to Deliver"

tl;dr ability to DELIVER working software is probably one of the most ignored skills in Senior Engineers. Unless you are in academia, your focus shouldn't be on delivering perfect code, but DELIVERING WORKING SOFTWARE. Never forget that.

This idea popped up from a random chit-chat I had with one of Senior VPs in my company. We were discussing some of the new hires he made and he was saying how great, motivated and young they are, but one piece that is missing is teaching them how to DELIVER. And this puzzled me because I never really thought about it. But it's a fact. You are paid to DELIVER software that can be SOLD. You are NOT paid to create most beautiful and well-researched code out there.

So, my advice for engineers out there would be to focus on learning the "delivery" skill.

Now, this post would be useless if I didn't share some of the techniques that I keep in my toolbox:

    Understand WHAT you are building and WHY. Easier said than done, but you really have to have a clear picture of the product you are building and value that it delivers to customer. If you don't have it, now's the time to go and talk to your manager about it.

    Having clearly defined deadlines. I know. I hate them more than you do. But undoubtedly, one of the best ways to have anything finished is to set a deadline for it.

    Reviewing past deliveries. Our brains are not really wired to remember all the positive things from the past, which is why we usually focus on negatives. Reviewing your past deliveries and reminding yourself that GOOD was GOOD ENOUGH is one of the best ways to reinforce the delivery process. GOOD is GOOD ENOUGH. It doesn't have to be perfect!

    "F*ck it, Ship it!" attitude - if you've never read Gergely Orosz's article on Uber's App rewrite, now's the time to fire up Google and search for it. It's a story of how eventually they ended up with "Fuck it, just ship it!" attitude which ensured they actually delivered software (NOTE: I'm not saying it was a positive thing, but there's something to it).

Happy to hear your thoughts on it :)