Capn Design

Real Editors Ship

Paul Ford wrote this a couple months ago and I never linked to it. Paul argues that web projects need editors to keep them from floundering and help them get the code out the door. Lots of smart people have talked about continuous integration and building the simplest version of a feature first, but Paul’s take puts a human touch on it that’s easy to appreciate.

If you read this before, read it again. If you didn’t, read this quote.

Editors are first and foremost there to ship the product without getting sued. They order the raw materials—words, sounds, images—mill them to approved tolerances, and ship. No one wrote a book called Editors: Get Real and Ship or suggested that publishers use agile; they don’t live in a “culture” of shipping, any more than we live in a culture of breathing. It’s just that not shipping would kill the organism. This is not to imply that you hit every sub-deadline, that certain projects don’t fail, that things don’t suck. I failed plenty, myself. It just means that you ship. If it’s too hard to ship or you don’t want to deal with it, you quit or get fired.