I Want to Fix it NOW
I work on Django projects both at work and at home, in the form of side projects (I created HTMLify as a first experiment in full-stack developing and am now working on a minimalistic feed reader).
The other day I got really bummed out at work. At first, I didn’t really understand why - I was just depressed. I got talking with a co-worker and he suggested that I introspect and try to pin-point why. After a while of thinking about it, I realized what was wrong. I am embarrassed by the product I’m making.
Now, this isn’t to say we’re building a bad product, or that it doesn’t work. My problem is that it has very rough edges regarding user experience and we almost never get around to fixing these issues. Sure, if there are bugs in functionality we usually solve them first, but there is a class of “comfort” problems which aren’t really bugs and we have a lot of them.
This is partly because the backend and frontend are split between two different software groups. But I’m not blaming this on the frontend guys. The problem is the attitude that more features that are more-or-less stable are better than less features that are rock solid.
Now, I get that sometimes there are time-critical features that give value to the customer (this is a big phrase for us, as we work in Scrum), I do. But I realized that I work very differently at work from how I work at home. When I’m working on something at home and I see something that bothers me I usually fix it immediately (I, of course, finish what I’m currently working on first). At work, it’s a completely different story. When I see an “injustice”, I send an email to our product owner. He adds it to the backlog. We discuss it in meetings and prioritize it.
Whenever I “walk past” the bit of code that’s responsible, I get upset. I want to fix it NOW! The existence of this issue is like a thorn in my side. I hate it.
The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants
I feel it’s like technical debt, but it’s not exactly the same. These issues are bugs to me, but our product owner doesn’t see them this way.
I don’t really know how to deal with being bummed out about this. I’d appreciate opinions from other developers who experience similar feelings. How do you settle the need for setting and discussing issues and priorities with your need to fix things as you see them? How do you deal with getting others to feel the same? If you practice Scrum, I would very much like to hear your methods and ideas.
Feel free to give advice in the comment section below or at hackernews.
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