I would like to confess a small lie that I told myself each time when I found something interesting on the Internet, but I didn’t have enough time to read it. It was Read later.
When I think about a new idea or my next goal in life, I usually think big. The goal has to be ambitious and attractive to me, otherwise, it’s not worth putting effort into it. However, big goals also overwhelm me, because I don’t know where I should start. So I prepare. And I think. And I prepare. And I think. And this loop goes on.
It changed. The endless loop of thinking about the best approach to achieve the goal or to do whatever you want means that you probably try to start with something big. To break it, just do the opposite – think big, but start small.
The first draft of this article was about the code-style. I wanted to show you why it is important and why we should care about it. But the longer I thought, the stronger conviction I gained, that the code-style – whatever it means – is only a way to achieve a much more important goal.
I’m a big advocate of well-quality code. Besides good architecture, I pay attention to style – consistent spacing and indentation, coherent naming convention and other rules that make the code visually better. But how to convince someone, who never took care of style before, that is it a good thing?
I joined to the project that was developed by one guy. He was an amazing developer with plenty of ideas and skills. He had also the best knowledge about the system – its domain, architecture, used solutions, hidden tricks, and workarounds. In every single task, I needed his support because I didn’t understand how things worked. My main goal was to retrieve as much knowledge as possible from his head. The reason was simple – his contract is ending in a month. I wish I didn’t know about it before.
The project had the long to-do list of features. Some of them were partially implemented. Some other functionalities had specified time–frame because of the seasonal nature of the project. Everything was important from the business point of view.
There were no tests, no code’s style guide, no documentation (besides a few out of date README.md files across repository). I didn’t want to touch anything because the code was unstable and cause a lot of side–effects. After one month of torment, I thought – “f*ck it, let’s make it works".
Every day at least 30 new messages land in my mailbox. Newsletters, reminders, status updates, mentions, recommendations and even personal or business messages – each of them need my time and an attention. And no one besides me is responsible for handling them.
I had my very first email account on the public news site. I received tons of advertising messages until I got the invitation to the Gmail. This mail service was capable of identifying unwanted messages. That was what I have been looking for for a long time.
Although I receive a bunch of messages each day (more important than spam or advertisements), at the end of the day my inbox is empty. Thanks to Inbox Zero approach, I manage my matters without wasting time. It helps me preventing myself from being overwhelming by a number of emails.