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Project development mantras
2016-01-06 13:30:00 -0800
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I love to work in my own projects, bootstrapping and do it using lean/agile methodologies. I've written down this list for myself to stay focused on the most important things, as it was my little journey backpack.

Bootstrapping

Simple

Less is more. Keep it simple to...

  • ...stay lean, so you can launch and pivot quickly.
  • ...make your product easy to use.
  • ...release a little good product instead of a big mess.
  • ...reach the excellency on what really matters.

Fund yourself as long as you can in order to stay agile.

Try to compete with similar products on what not to do.

Real

Your thoughts are only yours, get outside to check them from day 0.

Launch quickly and deliver often.

Use running software as the progress measure.

Testing and continuous integration are vital to achieve this point.

Passion

Is the key to deliver a successful product.

Solve a self problem and be your first user to get it.

Enjoy programming too, so choose your favorite technologies, follow best practices and refactor early, you will create a positive feedback.

Focus

Define a one-point vision and work to reach it.

Focus on your customer niche and don't try to please everyone.

Work some time alone to concentrate and increase your productivity.

Listen

Work side by side with the customers.

Track, analize and get feedback to pivot when you need to.

You also have to listen to your team members.

Human

Be personal and friendly with the customers, they are the main part of your project.

The most effective communication is face to face.

Your team is made up of people, and people is more important than any project.

Personify your product too.

Learn

You always learn, but you learn faster if you invest time on it.

Read, practice, enroll to courses, teach, discuss... because knowledge is the best thing that will remain when the project will be done.

Divide

...and conquer. Iterate over the product, so you can pivot sooner.

Plan the development with short iterations to improve your productivity and deliver more often (remember to celebrate your little achievements).

Split and write down your tasks and use techniques like Pomodoro.

Priority

Work from large to small and leave it if it's not a problem yet.

A chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

Turn your plain to-do list into a weighted list.

Avoid useless work, meetings, documentation, specifications...

Be willing to say no.

Detail

Every detail matters, try to reach the excellency in everything you do.

Some design/development notes:

  • Copywrite is design, be aware of it.
  • Think about all the three states when designing: ok, error and empty. Use the last one to set first user expectations.

Collaborate

The software you work with is made up of millions of community collaborations, be grateful and try to pay it back as much and as often as you can.

Consider opening your source code too (or a part of it).

You are welcome to collaborate with this post too ;)




Resources

Here are some related books and resources which I highly recommend: