Focus on the code

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Running a start-up is an awesome freeing experience, where the bounds of what each day might include are vast, but it's hard. There are so many things to do that it's difficult to work out what the right thing to do is. Without focus, a start-up business lessens its chance of growing beyond a fledgling concept, but focus necessitates a choice of what to do over what not to do. It's about saying 'no' to 100 alternatives.

The single criterion for deciding what to do next is value. Which activity will have the greatest value to the business, now and in the future? The theory goes that investing time in the high-value activities will mean that there's more resource in the future to do the low-value ones, and some of those may not need doing at all.

Setting up a development environment can be done in a number of ways, but for most small businesses it's seen as a stepping stone. The dev environment just needs to be sufficiently good for the dev team to get on with the real work of coding, testing and debugging. It's also subject to the Pareto rule, that 80% of the value comes from 20% of the work. Within a few hours you can have a good dev environment set up, but getting a great one configured may take a few days. It's a difficult balance to strike, because compromising on the quality of the dev environment, on the accuracy of its fit for purpose or on the number of support tools, may all affect the quality of the outcomes. The code may be weaker because it wasn't easy to drop tests into an automatic regression test suite, so busy programmers on tight deadlines didn't write them. Equally it's possible to get too caught up on the setup of the environment and waste valuable time that should be spent working on the code.

Perfection is the enemy of good enough.

Devopera tries to change the rules. We provide ready-to-code development environments that allow you to get going right away. Instead of preparing your local machine or a nearby dev box, installing an OS, setting up services like Apache and MySQL, then configuring applications like Drupal, Wordpress or Django, we provide free virtual machines and comprehensive server builds that take out the grunt work. We make it possible for you to invest your time into the highest value tasks that give you the best chance of realising your goals. And when you do, please tell us about it!

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published 3 years 1 month ago


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