Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Developer Ninja's

Something has been on my mind ever since returning from Tech-Ed 2011. I then watched the “facebook” movie and I realised - I have, as have many of my co-workers strayed. Strayed from what you may ask? Well from being Ninja’s.

Somehow we have got caught up in other things, lost our edge – that bit of your personality that made you want to go out and just “kill it” - has been lost. Mediocrity has now set in and you are just content to role with the punches, follow the crowd, break the rules and deliver a substandard product.

Would a Ninja go into battle unprepared, not wanting to win the battle? Or even worse not care if he won? Not only that the true Ninja is not known he’s anonymous, seeks no glory. He plans, gets in and executes his plan as efficiently as possible, no distractions, no deviations and gets out. If during the execution he gets an unknown challenge or unexpected issue, the opposing force is rechanneled against that opponent and the problem is defeated. Other ninjas in the same operation are attuned to his situation and lend a hand. They are fighting their own battle BUT aware of each other and their common goal.

Do we arrive at work, plan our day, code to our best ability, remove our distractions and when the job gets done get the hell outta there? No! We arrive not knowing what we are going to do, we deliver poor code, watch movies, respond to tweets and so the list goes on and on. When the situation changes we call it scope creep and when a fellow Ninja is falling we are unaware. We work overtime, go home to have to come back to finish the job another day.

Ninja’s know their tools, they are masters and train to be so. We should be mastering our technology tools and once you’ve mastered it, you master another. The more you master the more powerful a Ninja you are.

I’m not saying Ninjas are only “techies” - by no means. It’s a mind-set, an approach, a delivery style.

He ain't got no distractions
Can't hear those buzzers and bells
Don't see lights a flashin'
Plays by sense of smell
Always gets a replay
Never tilts at all
” – Pinball Wizard, The Who.

As of today, I’m done with my distractions and interruptions – I’m a delivery boy, a serious Ninja Delivery Boy. I also only want to enter combat with Ninja’s at my side, Ninjas who have used opportunities to train and master their tools. I need them. I can’t master all the tools, so I really need them if we are to win. When the battle draws near, unfortunately, the unprepared will be left behind.

Today I want to find my inner Ninja, do you?

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