Jamie Lawrence

Communication > Coding

Communication is more important than coding.

ok, ok, I’m being provocative. We’re not all talk and no action…but good communication is a core principle of the team and is critical to the health of your project and the overall team.

What do I mean that “communication is more important than coding”?

Obviously, we need to actually write some code to build the features, and fix the bugs, and refactor away the technical debt. However, often there’s a choice and it’s in those moments that we should always prioritise communication:

  • “Should I write my Friday update or squeeze in another hour of coding” → communicate!
  • “Should I record a short video demonstrating what this PR does or dash on to the next task?” → record that video
  • “Should I take 30 secs to add this todo to Basecamp or keep coding?” → add it to Basecamp
  • “Should I take an extra few minutes to add context and details to the task in Basecamp or…” → expand on the Basecamp task
  • “Should I ask #dev for help/advice or keep going? I’m sure I’ll figure it out in just a minute…” → Switch to Slack and ask #dev
  • “Should I ask my pair to walkthrough some tricky code I’m working on or should I refactor it myself?” → Ask your pair
  • “I’m having a bad week and seem to be struggling but if I just push on…” → stop coding and start communicating with your manager

You get it. It’s not that coding is more important than communication, it’s that if you are faced with a choice, the correct path is most likely in the direction of more communication and not more coding.

If you aim for communication > coding I think you’ll hit the right balance. If you aim for communication == coding or coding > communication, you will not be effectively managing your project.

This is an extract from an internal post at Podia about project management for developers

Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash