Quantity Turns Into Quality Over Time
I’m reading a book about Elon Musk that goes through his early challenges in life and who he is as a person. It’s been hard to ignore the chapter that mentions his vampirish dedication to work and almost stereotypical early hacker approach to writing code when starting his first company.
It reminds me of a few people I know from my time spent in a “real” job. These guys were some of the best programmers yet their style of code always seemed to be very unorganized to me; at least starting off.
For example. There was this guy that sat next to for the longest time. When he first joined our company I was a little annoying because I’d see him copy/paste test code all over the place and really just hack things up. I, of course, wrote superior code in every way so could totally judge from my high point on the mountain.
Over time because he wrote so much code all over the codebase he didn’t just become a good programmer, he became the best programmer. It was his relentless effort and push to fix bugs, add features and move forward no matter the road block that refined him. As he learned by hacking, his code became cleaner, leaner and I’d have to say before I left I think he might have been the companies, top engineer.
This wasn’t the only instance of this type of behavior reaping huge rewards. In fact, it’s part of the reason I write these articles. Getting as much content out there for as long as possible, good or bad hone your skills to a fine craft.
I believe if we stay dedicated to moving fast and producing as much as possible, our craft will become refined over time. It’s not just the time put into a project its the amount of flow you can get out of it that turns into quality work.