Optimising for enjoyability

Designing and building: making, workmanship – should be an enjoyable activity.

If we are to optimise anything in the process, I think that optimising the level of enjoyment you can get out of a job is more important than any other form of optimisation.

Of course, this can be quite difficult when working on short, ephemeral projects with low budgets and high demands. One way of optimising for enjoyability could be to say no to those projects.

This concept is somewhat related to making maintenance enjoyable.

Some points

  • Always do a pre-project
    • This is perhaps the single most important advice for making a job enjoyable.
    • The only time it’s ok to skip is if you’ve got a long-established working relationship with the client.
    • The pre-project will tell you a lot about the most important thing: who are the people you’ll be working with
  • Say no to short-lived projects with low budgets
  • Say no to working with people who just don’t seem that nice
    • In the long run, a smart, understanding and empathetic work relationship will be most enjoyable.
  • Make sure you have a balance of challenge and predictability
    • A job needs to have challenges to be fun
    • A job needs to have elements of predictability, especially so that you can know approximately how long something will take.
  • Know your tools