“No code” and client services: developer, be less rockstar

Kelsey Hightower made the following excellent statements on “no code” (in relation to a wider discussion about serverless and Kubernetes, here which I highly recommend giving a listen to):

“If I was ever able to not write a piece of code I felt really good about my decision making.”

“I felt that I was able to look for things that were already out there, that I was able to leverage those things and save both me and the company time and I think people have forgotten the benefits of not writing code.”

This is important. As developers we are not actually paid for our code. We are paid for our ability to solve your business problem.

Sometimes my colleagues shoot round little tidbits from their day which either depressed or delighted them in some way. Usually, unfortunately, as a lot of them are freelancers or contracted developers, it is a complaint. One complaint which surfaces a lot is about pricing – in this sphere – and it goes something like this:

“Hey, Mr Developer, where the %&*% do you get off charging $x,000 when you only actually delivered 82 lines of code!!!”

This is exactly the point of “no code” – for me. The aim isn’t to “write lots of code” the aim is to solve the problem.

The obvious facetious answer to my imaginary Mr or Mrs Angry above is something along the lines of “Oh, okay, I’ll drop in 1000 more lines which don’t actually do anything, would this help?!”

I’ve kind of got off the point though, which was to say, this “no code” idea is one which I’ve basically been pushing for a while under different headings. Sometimes its known as “not reinventing the wheel” other times its called “choosing the right tool for the task” but in all cases, the point here is to focus on solving problems, not flexing your muscles or demonstrating that you “have the chops”.

When it comes to working on large business projects, don’t be a rockstar – be a backing dancer. Or, perhaps rather, be a sound engineer. Quietly plug in the right tools. Re-tool only as a last resort. Make it about a quality production; not about you.

This “no code” idea, I like it.

One thing we do need to be a little cautious about is that this does kind of build some dependencies into our thinking. We may become vendor bound or platform bound. Or locked in in some way or another.

So for these reasons, we should continue to rock out on weekends, or do a wicked drum solo whenever the time is right. You know, try to be rockstar only when its really needed 🙂

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