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- Foreword

This article is, some short form notes on excellence, which I will define as follows. The pursuit of being or doing your best work.

This is not meant to deride, shame or harm anyone. If you respectfully disagree, that is fine. Perhaps publish something and let me know, so I can noodle on it and see if I can improve my definition.

Types of excellence

Programming excellence

I would contest, this requires doing the inner-most effect-free, piece of code possible.

Effects in code

Without inviting some effects into our code, nobody will ever see or be able to experience the code.

It is, therefore, imperative that our codebases, the sum of our code, are not only comprised of excellence, but also pragmatism.

Career growth

Perhaps as beginners, our confidence stems from rampant pragmatism, and not knowing.

Maybe as we head off for the shores of expertise, our fuel is that confidence, which stems from ever-more knowing.

Delivery excellence

I would contest, it requires doing the most visible work, to the minimum standard possible to garner feedback and insight that you do not already have, to attain delivery excellence.

Minimum bar-height

It is pointless releasing an MVP that is so basic, nobody wants to use it. If you never do that, you only imagine that minimum bar. Sometimes you must hit it to know where it is.

Regression & feature-loss

Nobody wants your latest release, if it means that it will break things, or cause regressions, or loss. Life is full of loss and may be filled with regret. You need to balance that need for speed, agility, responding or pre-empting the market, with some minimum bar.

User excellence

I would contest, being excellent to, or for users, requires doing the thing a specific person, using your product, needs or wants to do the most. It is both the most superficially simple, yet daunting definition I have provided.


There can be a little bit of vagueness around needs and wants in the real world. Sometimes "they" do not know. This is especially true of new or disruptive things. Sometimes to break the mould, we really must be bold enough to challenge perceived norms around wants, to deliver needs, or provide alternatives.

These are just some excellence factors. Finance, Marketing, Sales (an intersection of the two), Leadership, etc are all areas with competing pressures, which impact programming, delivery, user-excellence. It can be hard. I will likely focus on one of these three, but enjoy learning about all.