Stephen R. Covey wrote in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People about the concept of being effective in attaining goals by aligning oneself to what he calls "true north" principles. I’ve long been a fan of his teachings and, over the years, have developed an idea of these principles that we apply at FFW whenever we engage a new technical challenge.
It’s a simple concept that outlines some of our own Guiding Principles of Technical Excellence. We simply say: “We are at our best, as a development team, when…”
We collaborate with our peers.
No developer is an island and we believe in helping one another to make the team stronger. We also believe in collaborating with our peers in the broader community to improve the software we use.
We delight our customers and their customers through every solution.
Customer delight isn’t a new concept. Companies like Zappos and Amazon have been using it for years in their materials. We feel it is important that our technical team have this at the forefront of their mind when developing. Software is better when we know who it’s for.
We do not hack open source.
If we hack, kittens die. You know the reasons why this is important so I won’t bore you with my version.
We contribute to ourselves by way of knowledge and enrichment.
Every member of our team is the most important one. We believe in giving people the room to grow and prosper in their roles. Don’t believe me? Apply for a job here.
We contribute to the communities we build from.
Open source is part of our DNA. Enough said.
We can deploy anywhere.
Configuration management, continuous integration, and automation are a part of our toolset. We believe in the platform approach and use it on any build that we can.
We build safe, scalable sites for every client.
We are privileged to deal with some pretty large clients here at FFW so we make sure our sites adhere to best practices around performance and security.
We build sites that can be largely edited and maintained by people.
We believe in a consistent user experience. Too often sites, especially those built in a CMF like Drupal, are black-boxes to the end user. Sometimes developers will shortcut the experience to meet a requirement. In the end, editors are confused and the CMF loses its power. At FFW, we believe in the user.
We build every site as a content-first experience.
Without content, the web would be nothing but pretty (unsearchable) pictures. I encourage you to check out Everything First by our own Matt Korostoff.
An excellent technologist is someone who can adhere to a multitude of principles in their work. Great developers are built, not born. What are your principles?