Chapter 5. Creating a Personal Manifesto

“A goal is not always meant to be reached; it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

Bruce Lee

In the previous section, we talked about the importance of having a team mission statement. Having a clear vision, regardless if you’re working on a team or developing software by yourself, is vital to being successful. After all, how can you possibly move in the right direction if you haven’t decided what you ultimately want to achieve?

Robby Ingebretsen, a developer and co-creator of Pixel Lab, a user-experience design and software development studio, believes everyone should have a personal manifesto:

I don’t have a dictionary definition of manifesto at hand. I’ve avoided looking it up because I’m willing to hijack it (take that, word meanings!). I think of it this way: a manifesto is a declaration of why the thing you do makes the world better.

Ingebretsen believes developers should have a singular, overarching focus. It should be a summarized reason for why we’re building software products.

In the previous chapter I discussed how our team builds applications to help our organization achieve “the highest standards of patient care and service.” That’s our team’s singular focus. If we’re not achieving that, then we’re not delivering on our mission.

But here’s another thing: not only should you have an overall mission statement, but you should also have a manifesto for each project you’re working on.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m building ...

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