Thinking back to my post university days, I remember knocking out multiple sites a month. I could easily plough through a site over a weekend, potentially even a night if I pulled a shift. Those days are now nothing but a distant memory.
This week I started working on a site in my spare time, I thought would take me around 3 days. It was a fairly simple build, a few curve-balls, but nothing major. Three days later and – annoyingly – I was only halfway through. I started to beat myself up about it. I’m a very critical person by nature and I was getting annoying that I had – seemingly – lost my dev speed, until I started to think about it….
Many things have changed since university, ultimately I’m a better and more refined dev than I was a few years ago. I’m now writing better code which takes more thought, and therefore more time. I’m making sure that my code is neat and tidy, nicely written and perfectly modular so that elements can be reused(even if I’m not sure they will be). Some of the tasks I perform, such as the organisation of my colours, are really long and quite draining but I still employ them as I know it will all contribute to a better end product.
Whilst it’s easy for me to understand, it’s potentially more difficult having to explain this to an account manager, client or even a fellow colleague, especially if something has taken a shorter amount of time previously.
Why are things taking you longer? What’s the point of this new process? Why am I paying you this much for something you made for half the price last year?
I’m a believer of ‘you get what you pay for’. I’ve spent so much money on more expensive items as – in addition to the product being better – I like to pay that bit extra for peace of mind. The peace of mind includes three main points:-
Although I can’t 100% trust the brands I buy my expensive products from, I would like to think that my clients, colleagues and friends can trust my opinion when I say why something will take longer/cost more.
Here is a brief overview of how those three points apply to the websites I build.
That the product will last
I write code that is built to last, it uses the best current practices (practices I’ve thought long and hard about), it’s been thought through, not going to break and it’s future proof.
That the product will look/function better
I write code that’s fast, neat and reusable. If I die tomorrow I’m confident another decent dev could pick my code up easily. If a website needed need some new modules adding I’m pretty sure I could use some of the modular elements I created. If you want to show anyone what’s under the bonnet of your website I’m confident they would like what they see.
If anything goes wrong I know my back is covered
I take pride in my websites and I want them to work correctly. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I’m not interested in rushing a job and moving onto the next. I avoid using 3rd party code where possible and if I have to I will be sure to understand how it works etc. If your website goes viral I’m confident there’s not going to be a load of unnecessary duplicated and badly written code to slow it down. If something does go wrong it’s in my best interests and nature to put it right again.
Obviously these rules aren’t going to apply to everyone. I’ve seen some terrible cases where people are paying large amounts of money in return for shocking work. I try to offer a transparent, honest service in all the work that I do.
I’ve strayed a little from the original topic but the moral of the story is……. I’m getting slower as I’m getting better …….if that makes sense?