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Code like a Klingon Warrior

Lee Nattress
・5 min read

The definition of honor varied widely between cultures, as did the importance placed upon it. Honor was normally synonymous with dignity and referred to the upholding of one's values. The Klingons were notorious for the emphasis they placed on honor.

No code is correct at first

If you cannot fail, you cannot succeed.
bIlujlaHbe'chughbIQaplaHbe'.

Any code we make can be re-written, replaced, refactored or even straight up removed. This is the way of code and so you should try not to get too worried about perfect code straight out of the gate.

Solving the problem in your story is enough to grant honor, but try not to get too hung up on the efficiency of those few lines, or if you think something is the right way.

In code review, your team will help you understand. There is no shame in having code changes requested. This is how we learn. Do not let pride stand in your way to victory.

Write honorable unit tests, help your team.

When a warrior goes to a battle, he does not abandon his friends.
may'DaqjaHDI' SuvwI' juppu'Dajlonbe'.

Get your unit tests to pass. If you do not do any tests you bring great shame to your house and your family. Passing bad code to another warrior will secure your place in Gre'thor where Fek'lhr awaits the dishonored warriors.

Without testing, your code cannot be verified as functional and if you deploy this code into production, you will see defects.

Without tests, other warrior coders might change your code, only to find it creates bugs or problems that could not be found until later.

Go straight for the kill, solve the problem

Klingons do not procrastinate.
lumbe' tlhInganpu'.

When fighting alongside other warriors, we must keep our eyes on the prize.

Work together on problems, to solve the ones right in front of you as soon as possible, to provide value for your team, and the business. Defeat your enemies together and do not spend time on things that do not relate to victory.

Clearing blockers for others is honorable

If it's in your way, knock it down.
DubotchughyIpummoH.

Klingon warriors fight together, as a team. What is in their way, is in your way. When a fellow Klingon is fighting an enemy, even if this enemy is not yours. There is no greater honor than helping another Warrior reach Suto'vo'qor.

Your SCRUM master might be the one directing the team to release blockers, but it is your duty to help them and step in when others need help.

If you help others defeat their enemies, then they will help you defeat yours.

Klingon coders write great documents of their deeds

Great deeds, great songs.
ta'mey Dun, bommey Dun.

The Warrior's Anthem:

Qoy qeylIs puqloD.
Qoy puqbe'pu'.
yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI'
Say'moHchu' may' 'Iw.
maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu'.
nI'be' yInmaj 'ach wovqu'.
batlh maHeghbej 'ej yo' qIjDaq vavpu'ma' DImuv.
pa' reH maSuvtaHqu'.
mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov.
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For every great victory a Klingon warrior has, songs are sung in their honor.

Your system, product, repository or idea needs great documentation that will be used long after it is written. Your documents should be brave and true, written so that it tells a story of how your system was made, and how it should be used.

All great warriors, sing songs of their code. If you aren't proud of it, then it was never good code. Make your code and documents in such a way so that will be proud of them and other warriors will sing of your battle for generations.

Klingons and Agile:

"Nothing is more honorable than victory." - Worf

Defeat each enemy on your way, and celebrate victory with song.

Fighting all your enemies at once will bring defeat, and shame on your house. Pick your battles, and after each one, learn your enemies weakness. Every time you engage the enemy in battle, you will have learned from their fallen, how to deal with the next.

Sing songs of your battles and those that come after you will not fall into the same traps as you did, bring honor to your house and learn from the fallen warriors that came before you.

  • Satisfy Kahless Through Early & Continuous Victory
  • Welcome Changing Requirements Even Late in the Battle
  • Deliver Victory Frequently
  • Break the Silos of Your Bird of Prey
  • Build Wars Around Honorable Warriors
  • The Most Honorable Way of Battle is Face-to-face
  • Victory is the Primary Measure of Honor
  • Maintain a Sustainable Fighting Pace
  • Continuous Honor Enhances Agility
  • Simplicity is Essential for Victory
  • Self-organizing Warriors Generate The Most Victory
  • Regularly Reflect and Adjust Your Ways of Combat to Boost Effectiveness

Destroy your Sprint Goal Like a Warrior

Focus on but one target.
wa' DoSneHyIbuS.

All great warriors will head straight for the sprint goal, because this is where the greatest honor lies. Defeating the goal with your brothers and sisters in battle will secure your place in the great hall with Kahless the Unforgettable.

Do not be distracted by other trivial things, and keep your eyes on victory at all times.

Strategy and tactical prowess will beat the sprint goal, not mindless bashing at the keys

Brute strength is not the most important asset in a fight.
Suvlu'taHvISyapbe' HoSneH.

Brute force alone might win the battle, but strategy will win the war.

Fight smarter and use your time wisely. Determine battles you do not need to fight and move on to greater challenges.

You will bring great honor to you your house if you can find better ways to achieve victory.

Stay on top of your game, always keep learning

Even the best blade will rust and grow dull unless it is cared for.
'etlhQorghHa'lu'chughragh 'etlhnIvqu' 'ejjejHa'choH.

Only a petaQ would think their skills with the blade are ever enough!

Always learn more of your enemies weaknesses to meet them in the field of battle. A Klingon warrior's greatest ally is his keen knowledge of the enemy.

  • Always learn new combat skills, there are always new ways to defeat an enemy.
  • Bring honor to your house by sharing your warrior's teachings with others.
  • When you fight the enemy, fight together with a close ally. Take turns to lead, while the other backs you up. This way you can learn from each other.
  • There is no shame in admitting you cannot handle a new weapon. Seek a great Dahar Master to show you the new blade's true power.

Protect your code, technical debt is the enemy

May you die before you are captured.
Dajonlu'pa' bIHeghjaj.

If you do not completely defeat an enemy, they will lie in wait, and their wrath will be tenfold when you meet them again.

Always keep your code clean and as you open a file, be honorable and fix any problems you see. At some point, an enemy you thought you had defeated will be a problem for you again if you do not completely slay them.

For the empire to stay strong, write songs of your deeds, but also pay special attention to the enemies you could not slay at that moment.

Come back later and finish them off.

For glory!

Establish your own Code of Honor

Now it is your turn.

Pick up your bat'leth or d'k tahg and practice a code of honor. In your Klingon hearts you know what greatness looks like. They will sing songs of your great deeds.

Qapla'

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