Journal #238 – 5% more effort to higher quality

I know in my journals I always mentioned that I leave my work place on time. That is because I don’t see the point in staying any longer and make myself exhausted. I have other priorities in life and want to focus on those.

But that doesn’t mean that I do whatever it is I’m tasked to do poorly. I am not someone who approach work with this mindset of “as long as it works, why care so much.”

I admit that I do procrastinate, do other stuff like watching YouTube, or surf Facebook on my phone while I’m at work. But when it comes to doing the actual work, I still do it, I think, decently well. Or above average.

You see, at my previous company, the boss is always grinding us about putting 5% more effort. Combine that with reading up Jony Ive and Steve Job’s autobiography, I came to the conclusion that it is always the tiny things like formatting, or an extra space, incorrect spelling in documents that says a lot about your work ethics and quality of your work. Most people may not notice these subtle things consciously but in reality, at the sub-conscious level they do and they will judge you for it without them realizing it.

I know that because that’s what I caught myself doing it from time to time.

So with my previous experience of constantly being nagged at, and now my core value of quality meant that I always try to put in 5% more effort in everything I am doing. For example, since I’m doing more UI stuff now, I ensure component paddings are the same across and they are in the right place and correct distance from each other.

I won’t say that I’m completely perfect. I still miss out stuff or introduce a bug into the piece of code I am working on. I still try my best.

That doesn’t mean everyone in my project team has this same approach to work. Most of them had too much on their plate and couldn’t handle any more load and so it’s perfectly understandable that they couldn’t take care of everything. I will try to help them out wherever I can.

Then there is one who really focus on only delivering what’s required and as long as the thing work, the person didn’t care more. I completely understand that the person is only here to do some work, earn some money and get on with life. There is really nothing wrong with that.

But there are some stuff like on the UI side of things reflected the attitude of “I don’t give a shit.” It’s something that I just can’t let it stand.

For example, there is a Windows form responsible for presenting a set of items in a grid style. No data grid were used. Labels were used instead. The text in some of the labels are cut off due to insufficient length. The close button at the top of the form was sitting on the edge of the window that it looked like it was about to fall off the screen. The title font, position, everything was inconsistent with the rest.

The codes responsible for presenting that was checked into the source control and the task in JIRA was marked completed.

Maybe you will say I’m nitpicking. Maybe you will not. I’m just stating what I saw. Personally, I will not call this piece of work done and feel comfortable delivering it to the customer. It’s just too obvious that the developer don’t care.

All you need was put in 5% more effort. It’s not much really. It will take you what? 1 more minutes to align the button? 1 or 2 minutes to lengthen the labels? Maybe another 1 more minute to do the title.

Anyway, as soon as I saw those things, I let my teammate know and asked for these things to be fixed. I have not check the latest code yet and I sincerely hope they are fixed. If not, I will do it myself tomorrow.

So please, my fellow developers, spend some effort and time to care about the end user and to show the rest of the world that you are not just some highly-skilled laborer who does what he or she is told by the foreman and know nothing else.