Standing and hacking my way to antifragility. Coffee and beer aficionado.
I can be wrong.

August 2013


Jumping into running project

Recently I’ve landed a new job in a company with some projects in very advanced state of developement. They gave me time to became familiar with the source code, server layout, operation side of project. I’ve made a terrible mistake - I was reading the code instead of doing something with it.

It’s almost impossible to learn how to program by only reading the book. It’s same with the software projects - you have to learn about it by doing it. By tinkering with the codebase, you’ll get better orientation in it, seeing all the connections between components. By running release on some testing/staging server, you’ll go through all the steps necessary to deploy application.

That said, it’s better to start your work on project not by immersing yourself into reading the source code, but by picking up on some issue from GitHub/Trello/etc. and working on it. Very specialized task? Doesn’t matter, at least you are producing something. Slow progress? Well, still better than reading your eyes off and then spend the same time fixing it. Because you are still mostly paid for editing project, not reading it.

So next time you hear somebody telling you: “We’re gonna give you time, just go through the source code and then give us some time estimations on tasks X, Y, Z.”, just answer with: “I’m going to work on Z”.

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