Over-Engineering and fear based features are a problem

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Sometimes we nerds are just too strict. This manifests itself all the time in development teams. Over-engineering the process or project creates unnecessary clutter in your pipeline. It’s natural to create systems and get emotionally attached to them. If left unchecked this grows like a cancer in your organization. I’m wary of engineers competing for system and process creation based on “coolness” and not what best meets business goals.

It doesn’t do anything for anyone but you

There’s a now famous email that Elon Musk once sent out to his SpaceX team. The subject line was “Acronyms Seriously Suck”. Basically he blasted them for making up unnecessary acronyms that confuse communication, especially for new hires. Musk wrote: “VTS-3 is four syllables compared with “Tripod”, which is two, so the bloody acronym version actually takes longer to say than the name!” So if it’s a wheel, call it a wheel for heaven’s sake.

Combat over engineering with focus on the value

It’s imperative for me to constantly pull the business objectives back into view and remind us about the “why”. Take the focus off the process and place it on the value. Injecting business focus into your daily standup meetings avoids the natural tendency to get caught up in the details. By continuously bringing the business into the conversation, I eliminate over-engineering and drive momentum instead.

Problems appear all too frequently in the name of “efficiency” or “optimization”. When I see this, I immediately tell people to stop thinking in terms of adding value to the platform. Instead, think of how to add value to the customer.

Fear based features are a problem

I can directly trace every feature I build back to value added to my customer. I ask, “Why are we building this feature?” Then I look for trends in the answers. I find newer companies frequently build features out of fear of losing a customer versus adding value to the customer.

Every time I sit down to develop a feature I ask myself, “Is this fear based or customer centric?” My relentless focus on providing obvious and tangible value leads to the production high quality technology.

What should you do?

If you have an over-engineered system or it’s riddled with fear based features… It might not be clear exactly what to do and this can be tricky. The people at the top in life are always working, growing and improving with the help of others. It’s how you got to where you are, and it’s how you will get up through the next stage on your journey.

I have experience that you can leverage. If you don’t use me, use someone else. The point is for you to get what is on your mind resolved immediately, don’t wait. Set an appointment with me and tell me about your situation so I can help. Click this link to reach out. Something else on your mind? Whatever you need, I’m here. Life is meant to be done together, just reach out.

Joel Beasley

Joel Beasley founded the Modern CTO Podcast in 2017 while writing his book, the Modern CTO book, with the goal of interviewing CTOs and sharing their experiences with others in the tech community.

Joel’s conversational style and insightful questions quickly gained traction, attracting high-profile guests such as Microsoft’s CTO, Kevin Scott, and T-Mobile’s CIO, Cody Stanford. With each episode, the podcast’s popularity continued to grow, and soon, Joel found himself with a waiting list of future guests.

Today, the Modern CTO Podcast has become the number one leadership and tech podcast in the world, with over 150k active listeners, including CTOs, lead developers, and rising tech leaders. Joel’s commitment to creating a conversational atmosphere for his guests to share their experiences has inspired a new generation of leaders and innovators.

As the success of the podcast grew, Joel founded ProSeries Media, a podcast production company that helps companies worldwide create their own podcasts. With a team of producers, content creators, and podcast bookers, ProSeries Media produces over ten shows, providing a platform for companies to connect with their audience and share their expertise.

Through his work on the Modern CTO Podcast and ProSeries Media, Joel Beasley has become a respected voice in the tech industry, inspiring others to share their knowledge and insights with the wider community. His passion for creating engaging content that informs, inspires, and entertains has made him a sought-after speaker and advisor on all things tech.

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