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philosophy

For much of my web development experience, I found myself working on other web developer’s projects.  Working on these projects was almost never easy because I found that all these projects were designed and implemented in a way that was overly complicated and confusing.  It was not that the website or web application used technology or coding that was beyond my understanding, or another developer’s understand for that matter, it was that the developer tried to do too much and wanted to incorporate all the trendy technology that was popular or new when the website was built.

 

To be quite honest, it is very difficult for a web developer or web company to not go overboard when building a website.  There are so many great tools out there, but using these tools in the wrong implementation will ruin any project plan and add time and cost that the customer will ultimately be reasonable.  With web development, less is more usually, and if that strategy is implemented a better website will be the outcome.

 

I recall one story in particular where I had a conversation with a web developer who was working on a very simple content management system for a customer.  The project was budgeted for one month and was priced accordingly.  When I was speaking to the developer he told me that he had been working on this web project for six months exclusively, five more months than what was defined in the project plan.  It was quite obvious what had happened, his idea was to build a content management system that would try to do everything.  Now that is a noble idea especially if the thought is in the end the customer would receive a better product.  Because the deadline was only supposed to be one month, the coding was sloppy, functionality did not work together well, there were numerous bugs, and it was very slow when he performed a demonstration.  In the end, the customer did not use most of the functionality, plus the web development company lost a developer for six months on a single project.

 

In the example above, I had examined the documentation and project plan and the requirements that were defined were very thorough.  If the developer had followed this plan, the website would have finished on time and on budget.  In the end the customer would have also had a fully operational content management system that would have been exactly what they needed, but instead it was a mish mash of technology that never fully materialized in what the content management system was trying to accomplish.

 

This is only one story as there are many.  Even before I had seen this example of a project gone bad, I already constructed my philosophy of simplicity in code.  I had to live this philosophy for many years and maybe that is why I became to go-to guy in taking on a project that someone else already started. 

 

I realized there was a better way of building web technologies so I decided to start my own company.  I needed, however, a name that communicated my philosophy.  In the end the name actually was not hard to realize because of my background in Japanese language and culture.  From my teachings I remembered how the Japanese, especially the Samurai, always tried to perform their actions by using the simplest movements.  This is most identifiable in the Japanese tea ceremony where every ceremony uses the exact same movements to perform the same actions, which in this case is to drink tea. 

 

I feel the same mentality should be implemented in web development.  We, as web developers, should not try to reinvent functionality on every project, nor should we let ourselves be overcome with the desire to jam in every piece of new technology in a website just because it is cool to us.  We need to listen to our customers and build a website, or web application that does what it needs to do in a fashion that is usable, consumable, on time, and on budget.  That is the overarching philosophy of Code Samurai.

 

Cheers,
Derek
President