The Seven Righteous Fights: Now What?

This is the conclusion to my series The Seven Righteous Fights. For an introduction, see The Seven Righteous Fights: Overview.

Hopefully I have convinced you that these fights are worth having, worth putting some of your capital and effort into. But now how do you do that?

You can’t fight alone and win. You’ll burn yourself out trying. So take the parts of this talk you find useful back to work and see where you can fit them in.

Tactics

I’ve given you some strategy, the big goals for making your products more usable, extensible, beautiful, and well-designed. Here are some tactics.

  • Write a coding style guide and follow it
  • Host brown bag lunches
  • Pair programming for best practices
  • Add tests for accessibility and usability
  • Cultivate diversity and representation on your team
  • Ask questions

Cash is King

by taxrebate.org.uk

Money is the root of all business decisions

Money is the root of all business decisions.

Companies don’t usually (ever) change their behavior because of a desire to be more ethical, inclusive, or even more efficient. They change because it makes financial sense. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about fighting the righteous fight, it’s that money is a ridiculously effective argument.

If it won’t cost much and will save a lot, that’s your lever to move the weight of the whole company’s behavior and culture.

So what do the seven righteous fights help with? Mostly making users lives better, but also making building and maintaining the product significantly cheaper.

tl;rt

This was a long set of essays, I know. You may just be reading the last one to see if I sum up. Here it is:

Don’t build in compounding technical debt that your could trivially avoid.

and

Be productively lazy.

To be productively lazy is to be lazy over the long term. It’s automating tests and teaching your kids to do chores. It’s investing a tiny bit upfront to save yourself late nights and expensive reworks.

I’m begging you. Be lazier. Teach your teams to prize efficiency over instant results. Make future-you happy, or at least less angry.


This blog post is the final installment of my Seven Fights series. You can hear me give this talk at SpringOne Platform (August 1-4) or Abstractions (August 18-20).