Setting Constraints

Mar 18, 2013

In the design community, setting contraints is quite common. I don’t hear about it as much from programmers, but I’m starting to think that I should.

As many programmers can attest to, I have a growing library of half-finished projects. Everything from RSS readers to bookmarking tools. Every time something pisses me off, I fire up my editor with the intention of building my own.

I started asking myself why these projects sat; unfinished and private. It’s fear. Releasing software is one of the scariest things I’ve encountered. Not releasing software for work, but releasing something that I wrote for me. It’s scary as hell, and that’s why programmers have directories full of these projects.

So I asked myself a question. What if I had a deadline? I know, terrible word, but stick with me here. What if I set a contraint of two days? Say I’m building an RSS reader (I’m on a bit of a RSS kick), and I start on Friday with the constraint of stopping by Monday. No matter what, Monday it’s shipped. How would that effect my decisions and work flow? Would it break that fear? Would I grow as a software developer?

I bet the answer is yes.