We write code, not documents


Recently a pupil requested me:

Could you describe one example the place you had to make use of a diagramming instrument (eg. Google Slides Drawings, Lucidcharts, Miro, Whimsical, Gliffy and many others) to perform a job?

They additionally equipped an instance resolution I may observe, which consisted of making a chart to map a person float, presenting it, getting comments, including it to any other greater record, and developing Jira tickets.

I used to be a bit stunned (despite the fact that concurrently not stunned) — is that this how tool building remains to be being taught?

Without being vital of academia, this looked like a just right alternative to check out to shatter by-the-book tool building concepts for some long term engineers through sharing a special manner — our manner.

Here was once my resolution (quite edited for readability and typos):

I am hoping this resolution is useful, however I in truth don’t use a large number of diagramming gear, and I believe it’s protected to mention they’re not often used at Basecamp. We don’t write specifications and stuff like that as they’re not “actual” sufficient. We will do top stage sketches and tough drawings (most often pen and paper or an iPad and a sketching app), however that’s normally it. So extra ceaselessly I’ll seize a pen and paper and cartoon out a coarse float of what I wish to do, or write out pseudo code of the stairs that I wish to take. 

The explanation why we don’t get too formal about diagramming is as a result of they’re ceaselessly not shut sufficient to truth. You can draw and draw, however the truth is till you get started writing some code or enforcing a design, you don’t know what you’re going to hit. Maybe you’ll hit a technical limitation or perhaps one thing simply flat out doesn’t paintings. All the diagrams on this planet don’t get you nearer to learning that stuff. So the earlier you get to actual code, the earlier you‘ll get to seeing what’s imaginable. Fast and iterative in actual code is the place you need to be, not locked right into a record.

With regards to frequency, I’d say I do this about on a daily basis. Because it’s so light-weight, there’s no barrier to access. I’ll draw out what I wish to do or write out the stairs after which get to it. Very ceaselessly I’ll hit one thing surprising after which redraw what I wish to do. It’s rapid and iterative, and not anything is written in stone (as a result of in tool not anything is ever written in stone!)

Whether you compromise or disagree with our manner of tool building, it’s a decent overview of ways we’ve accomplished issues at Basecamp for a very long time. And I’d say all issues being equivalent, it’s labored out lovely neatly for us. 😉


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