Be Confident

Tests build confidence. Write ‘em. They’ll save your ass, and they’ll let you take a chainsaw to your code without being afraid of unintended consequences.

Be Lazy

Write tools. If it’s happened more than twice, don’t ever do it by hand again.

Be Asynchronous

If it can be done outside the request/response cycle, consider queuing it. Mailers, uploads, audit trails, anything with an external system dependency or a lot of IO.

Be Stateful

If there’s a lifecycle, model it as a real state machine. Beware ad hoc flags.

Be Clear

You’ll write it once, but you’ll read it a lot. Code accordingly. Sometimes simplicity takes a bit longer, but it’ll pay off.

Be Consistent

Inconsistent file names, task names, and coding styles hurt productivity.

Be Timely (but not too timely)

Keep frameworks, plugins, libraries, and tools up-to-date, but think twice before using a production app to play with the bleeding edge.

Be Certain

Don’t speculate, get data. Act on what you know, not what you suspect. Is that code really faster? Do users really want that feature?

Be Persistent

Find the root cause. Keep asking why, even when you’re tired and under the gun. The guesswork patch you write today will be a nightmare tomorrow.

Be Wrong

If it’s not working, change it, no matter how long it took to write. Don’t throw good money after bad. Admit mistakes early and often.