The Principals of The One Minute Commute

November 1, 2011

Chapter 15 – Conclusion

Communication is king.

If nobody knows what you did you might as well have not done it. The software you create is only useful when other people use it. Talk about what you are doing and why. Write about it too.

Everything is communication.

Communication doesn’t just happen over the phone or in email. It is part of everything you do. Everything you share with your team is communication. Take advantage of every opportunity to share your ideas. Don’t limit yourself to weekly status reports.

Present your own ideas.

Don’t let being remote prevent you from presenting your ideas. Never let someone in the office give your presentation just because of their location. Talk directly with your team, your managers, and your customers. Show them what you are doing and tell them why it is worthwhile. Be proud of your work and your ideas.

Emotional connections matter.

A team without trust will fail. Build that trust with emotional connections. Get to know the people you are working with. Know about their lives and their interests. Tell them about you. Create a bond with them. Let your coworkers know you as a real person instead of just a screen name.

Software is about people, not code.

Being a professional programmer is not all about programming. The way you solve a problem is not as important as choosing the right problem to solve. It doesn’t matter if you succeed only to see your team fail. Work cooperatively with your team. Ask questions. Learn from your team and teach them. Create an open environment where you can find the right problems before you find the right solutions.

Fix problems early.

Problems come up in any team. Fix them early. Help the small problems stay small by staying on top of them. Look out for signs of trouble in your team and talk about them. Most little problems come from poor communication. Solve them by connecting with your team before they become big problems.

Find balance.

Finding balance in your life makes you better at your job. Don’t let working from home mean you never stop working. Time away from work will help you stay focused and relaxed with your work.

Market yourself.

Market yourself before it is time to find a new job. Make connections and build your personal network. Work on projects other people can see. Give potential employers much more than your resume.

Use the lessons from this book. They’ll make you a better programmer and a better team member.

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