Values

This is a list of values I hold, particularly relating to work and how they affect how I operate.

🌟 First, Be Kind

I never have an understanding of everything that someone is going through, so it’s much better to be kind, even when having tough conversations.

🤔 Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood

This is something I’ve adopted from Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and keep seeing elsewhere. It’s an incredibly powerful principle, and once someone feels like you understand them, they become much more receptive to your own point of view.

🦋 Simple is Beautiful

Simplicity is a wonderful thing. Both processes and code should be easy to understand and modify.

🕣 Build for Now

Although there can be a degree of future-proofing, the immediate concern when building software is getting something out of the door. There are, of course, exceptions, but as a rule it’s better to make sure that something works before trying to overcomplicate it.

🙋‍♂️ Build for the User

Relatedly, it’s worth keeping the user in mind at all times. Users don’t really care about whether we use Kubernetes or not. Instead, I try to keep a product mindset when approaching problems. If users don’t use what you’re building, it doesn’t matter how good the code is.

🏎️ Speed and Quality aren’t Opposites

That being said, with the right processes in place, it is possible to build high-quality, maintainable software quickly. Just because you build something quickly doesn’t mean you have to be slapdash. Some great examples of this are TDD and pairing, which let you build things quickly but with well-structured code.

👑 You Treat a Dustman as You Would a Duke

Like several of these values, this was adopted from a saying of my grandfather’s. It doesn’t matter what someone’s job is or their position in life; you should treat them with respect.

🥂 Think Champagne, Drink Champagne. Think Beer, Drink Beer.

There’s nothing wrong with a little ambition. It’s good to have goals and want to achieve things.

🧑‍🏫 We Learn

Adopted from David Marquet’s Turn the Ship Around, everyone is always learning. I try my best to always keep learning new things and encourage others to do the same. (As an aside, never mock someone for not knowing something – it’s just a chance for them to learn)

🛠️ Use the Right Tools

Even if it means learning new ones. I’d rather learn how to use Tensorflow than try to write a machine learning algorithm in PHP!

@robl@hachyderm.io | @robl | github.com/rob-lowcock