Tao of Steven

Tao or Dao is a Chinese word signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘route’, ‘key’ or sometimes more loosely ‘doctrine’ or ‘principle’.

ToDo: Flesh this out with examples and reasons.


  • Backup plan, and Git from DAY 1
  • Version number should be easily accessible, if not visible on all pages.
  • Use a auto incrementing build number. Never release two programs with the same version and different functionality.
  • Write enough documentation that someone not involved in your project can setup a dev environment and make simple changes/deploys/rollbacks
  • Have a lot of logging, and a way of easily viewing/sending them. You can always turn logging down fairly easily, but adding it after the fact is a lot more work.
  • Eat your own dogfood - Any product/tool that you sell you should also be using. Why Amazon is eating the world

Never Ship a product with out at lest 1 hour of testing

Its late Friday afternoon, we had a working build with a new feature that we just added, all the unit tests worked, and the manual tests of the new features was looking good. So we pushed it to production and did a and shipped it to the customer. When the production build was done, it was already after normal working hours. We wanted to go home, so we didn’t manually re-test everything. On monday we returned to work to find an angry email from the customer. The new feature has broken the app, the error was obvious and if we had done even the most basic manual testing we would have caught it.

Always allow for at lest 1 hour of testing before shipping a product.

Project management

  • Code review every single line of code that is added to your codebase. By at lest one person
  • Make your business case, not a technical case - go solve peoples problems to save them money or time, Using the latest framework or language maybe interesting but unless it makes it easier to solves the customers problems its not worth doing. 1


  • You can only learn new skills when you have the freedom to try new stuff.
  • You can read about anything but unless you actually do it, you will never know anything. Also practical work is better then just test jigs
  • Bad news easily is fixable, bad news late is a disasters


  • Always cut away from yourself.