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The Importance of Process, and Why It Matters

shared on January 22, 2015

I joined DockYard in April of this year, after leaving a small startup. Before that, I was at another startup and doing lots of freelance/agency work. In all of these places, there was never an existing process in place, aside from what was in my head. For better or worse, this was fine and allowed me to get work done. What I have learned since joining DockYard however, is that my old method of working is dangerous for a bigger company and just does not work.

Initially, I resisted changing my process, like a fool/jerk. Why should I? My process has worked for years, it was inherently superior! Obviously, this was not true. I got too comfortable with how I had been coding and ignored requests to learn about BEM syntax and organizing my CSS in a different order. Applying most of these new techniques to my own personal projects allowed me to see the usefulness to our UX team’s (evolving) process. It was then that I realized, process is not about you or I, it is about the team.

If I am working on a project for six months and spin off to another project, another UX developer can pick up where I left off and understand the code I have written. If everyone wrote code the way they felt like, there would be so much time lost (and wasted) trying to figure out what the original coder meant when they wrote something. Money would be lost as well because time would not be spent on doing actual work.

Process improves productivity and productivity allows the team to gain a better understanding of what is possible for the company as a whole. Which, in the long run, creates better opportunities and projects for all of us.

TL;DR

Be open to new ideas about process. If it does not make sense to you, apply it to your own work before completely dismissing it.

Originally posted December 12th, 2014 on Reefpoints, DockYard’s blog.
P.S. I was fired two weeks before I planned to quit (the month after I posted this actually, haha). Even though I moved on to a better, more lucrative opportunity, I still have love for 98% of the team there. If you are looking to work with a web consultancy in Boston, you should check them out. Or, you can check out the super awesome folks at thoughtbot, my alma mater.
The Importance of Process, and Why It Matters
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