Don’t be a dumb developer

I had a situation at work where we had an edge case in a component: sometimes a logo didn’t appear. When I noticed this, I responded as a dumb developer.

I didn’t look around, and notice in other very similar components that there was a fallback for this scenario. Instead, I just saw a lack of a logo, blinked, and just mentally folded.

Don’t do this. Don’t be a dumb developer.

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Your Tools Don’t Matter … for infrequent tasks

I had to start a wireframe for a new project today. Easy enough, right? I’ve built a number of them before.

But first – what tool should I use? All the cool kids are using Keynote these days, though a good argument for Illustrator was made the other day.

I ended up going with Illustrator – mostly because of the above mentioned article. I spent hours obsessing over symbols, styles, grids lines, and preferences.

Then I actually did the wireframe.

It took me 15 minutes.

With my current work obligations, I tend to only make wireframes once in a while – maybe every couple months. But I got caught up in the trap of trying to set up the perfect workflow with the perfect tool.

So here’s the thing – for tasks that you do infrequently, quite simply, workflow and perfect tools don’t matter.

Just jump in and start doing!

If you find yourself eventually doing some task regularly, by all means, find the perfect workflow and system setup. I use Textmate every day, and am constantly tweaking it to find better ways to use it. Same with CSSEdit. But a perfect wireframing workflow? It takes more time to set up than to use.

Plus, by the time you come back to doing an infrequent task, you’ll forget what your set up was like, and you’ll start all over again.

What do you think? Is it worth it to try to find the perfect set up for infrequent tasks? Let me know in the comments below.

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