Identifying your company’s core values helps in many ways. It helps you identify the right people to hire and justify firing the people who aren’t a good fit. It helps you choose which projects to take on and which to let go of. And it gives your team a clear model to aspire to. BizStream lives by seven Core Values, one of them being “Care”. The following is my interpretation of one of the ways it means to care at BizStream.
There are many ways to care at BizStream. Here is the “official” list:
This blog post will focus on, “Care about your work, the project being successful, the client being happy, and the team working well together.” During my time working at BizStream as a web developer and leader, it has become easy to tell when a person has put careful thought into what they are delivering versus just getting a task off their plate as quickly as possible—often making more work for others. Here are some things to consider before handing off your work.
Too often, developers get caught up in deadlines and schedules, and the temptation to check in code that “probably” works is great. The problem is that making those assumptions, more often than not, leads to more work later because you have to get back in the headspace of the project and spin it all back up. It’s better to be 100% sure it’s ready now.
Within reason, of course. We’re all human, and we all make mistakes.
Anything that could be found, should have been tested for by you. You know what your code does, you know what it interacts with, you spent time at the beginning identifying potential weaknesses and a test plan. There’s no reason QA should find big obvious problems.
Anything big that could be found, should be found in PR. When you’re putting your pull request together, feel free to point out any areas of your code that seem weak or you don’t feel great about. This is the last opportunity to have someone else weigh in and help out.
QA should be looking for edge cases and that your changes flow well with the rest of the app. They should not be your last line of defense against 404 pages and buttons that aren’t wired up. In the course of development, you should have been clicking everywhere and doing tests on the fly. You know that when you parsed that string, you need to check inputs that are too long or too short. You know that when you filter on a date range, you need to test dates and times right at the limits of the range to be sure you got your “<” and “>=” right. And if you don’t know that, it will come with experience.
Take deliberate time to review your work. A self-review of your work is a given. It’s a part of development. Senior devs, how many times in all your years have you been in a hurry fixing a “simple” bug, checked it in without testing, only to have it blow up for QA, and they send it right back to you because you spelled something wrong? Something that would have been obvious if you took the 5 seconds to pull up the UI and hit F5. Just one example, but there are so many places to take deliberate time to ensure success down the line.
Don’t do this:
There are hundreds of ways to show you care in any job on any project, and the effects of the caring you put out there can be felt throughout your team. Imagine being the QA person for someone who obviously never tests their own work and uses QA as a catch-all for their bugs. Resentment would, understandably, creep into that relationship quite quickly. These are just a few examples of how a developer can show they care on a daily basis, and how we at BizStream try to live up to our Core Values every day.
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