2014! My first full calendar year in a startup!
The best thing about being in a startup is… Well you can read on or just google it.
One thing stands out besides working with a great team. A team constantly delivering at full pace and producing what traditional 50+ employee companies with just a fraction of the resources.
One of our core values as a team but also a personal value of mine.
Its hard to keep up with everything but I am not talking about tech or startup news. I am talking about constantly improving the way you work, by looking at the medium/long term benefits.
One might say this is very vague but I boiled it down to 3 main things to pursuit in your everyday working schedule.
These are not strict to software development and I will do my best to be generic.
Use task management tools like Asana, and avoid communicating through email. Use a closed facebook group or an enterprise social network like Yammer.
There are thousands of tools and services out there to help you organise and automate your workflow.
My target for 2015 is
Automate everything you do for the third time
This can be applied to new feature development or just simple daily mundane repetitive tasks. Use macros in the software you use. If you don’t know how ask someone to do it for you.
Write shell scripts / batch files for everything that you do regularly.
Have a timesheet of your countable (and repetitive) tasks. For example it takes me a full hour to make a report table from database to ui.
Time your tasks and the bookkeeping will help you reduce planning fallacy. You will also have a better sense of when you are dragging a task too far along.
Whenever you can work for the future do it. Aiming for the long run, even if you are in the MVP stage, is good practise. You may not use it for your current project but there will always be a next one:)
Have your rituals and your procedures on the top of your head. Having a crisis plan is not the worst choice. Don’t obsess about something happening, Only obsess about how great your recovery plan is:) Note down how you solve problems and keep it handy for the next time.
Recover your brain to prevent burnouts. I work for 50 minutes and have a break for 10 minutes. Get some days off. You’ll make a hell of a comeback.
Yeah I know I said 3 but keeping up with all of the above needs research and good old fashion studying. Reading the latest blog posts and tweets is not enough.
Get your gloves on and try all the new methods and tools you read about. Most of the time we develop habits which actually stop us from improving our workflow. The well known way is the fastest way when the clock is ticking. Try something new and bold. What’s the worst that can happen? You learn if a way is better or worse.
Anw enough mumbling. Pull your sleeves up and start playing:)