Obsessed With Finding a Better Way

For those that are friends, follow this blog or follow me on Twitter, know that about 9 months ago I started working at Quicken Loans as a Software Architect thanks to a friend of mine Keith Elder.  That is not the reason of the post however.  At Quicken Loans, part of the ideas we live by at all of the family companies are our “ISMs”. One of the ISMs is Obsessed with finding a better way, The ISM is defined as

Our mission is a never-ending quest to find a better way for every process and everything we touch. If it’s good, let’s make it great. If it’s great, let’s take it to an even higher level. Don’t settle for less. In fact, don’t settle at all. ‘Finding a better way’ is not something we do on the side or when we get time. Rather, it’s a key responsibility for every one of our team members. It’s our passion… our way of living…our obsession.

For the last few weeks I have been transforming the Desert Code Camp site into a site that I can white box. I’ve been working on this for two reasons. The first to use for the annual Quicken Loans technology conference, and the second, so that other conference organizers can use it for their conference(s).  As I was working on converting / improving the site, I noticed my self saying/thinking, “why the heck did I do it this way”, or “OMG, this is terrible”.  In most cases, it was either because that is how I knew how to do it, or that was the process or technology available to me at the time. 

The reason is not what’s important.  The important part was me recognizing that there is a better way to do what I was trying to do, not different, but better.  As a technology professional, I hope that as time goes by and technology improves, us technology professionals improve with it.  This means that we do not do it a certain way because that is what we know and are comfortable with but we try to improve what we worked on and make it better.

Getting back to the conversion, I probably could have finished the conversion in a few days but it has taken me almost a month (mostly nights) to do the conversion.  Reason beings is that I am obsessed with finding a better way. This is not solely because I work at Quicken Loans but because I am always looking for ways to improve processes, applications and most of all myself.

So I urge you, as a software engineer, test engineer, project manager, or human being, be obsessed with finding a better way in your career and life in general.

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