San Francisco, California

Don’t Be A Hero

When it comes to design and development I always try to be the hero. I rush into the fray, don’t really understand the problem clearly, and end up trying to reinvent the wheel. But all this leads to is frustration and deadends.

When doing front-end stuff this happens when I make giant CSS refactors, where I hope to catapult us into a utopian world without Bootstrap. 1000+ line pull requests that are basically impossible to review, test, and find any regressions in. Being the hero here doesn’t just end up wasting my time when those PRs don’t ship, but they also waste all the time of the people around me.

Having that utopian vision of the world is important though. And being optimistic about making enormous change is important, too. But I’m learning that the truly wise folks hold that vision in their minds whilst making tiny incremental progress in that direction every single day. Tiny steps is how you solve everything; from a bad design, to a confusing codebase, to a dysfunctional society.

We cannot fix everything today. And being a rebel, being the hero, is short-lived and attention seeking. But if we quietly make this one small change today then we can begin to push everything in the right direction.