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I want to write about an element which makes my life as a developer rewarding and fun.

I found out that most people who I had the privilege to work with have pledged to an unwritten code of honour not unlike a Samurai's. Let me spell it out:


Code and commitment

  • My work is a reflection of my craftsmanship. I personally identify with its quality.
  • Once I have made a commitment to a project and delivery date, I will do my best to keep my word.

  • It is a matter of honour to keep my commitment. I am prepared to make personal sacrifices to stick to my word.
  • Sacrifices and commitment are voluntary and driven by intrinsic motivation.
    Additional external pressure would be considered a breach of the code: I am already doing my best. 


  • I openly admit whenever I do not understand something.
  • Hierarchies are of little importance in a technical discussion.
    What matters is the weight of an argument and not the rank of the speaker.

Seeking help

  • My colleague's time is at least as precious as my own.
  • I read documentation and FAQs closely.
  • I am not afraid to ask questions if necessary. I deliberate these questions.
    If it helps my colleague, I will summarize them in a mail prior to asking.
  • I take notes when someone gives me explanations. I avoid asking the same question twice.

Providing help

  • I do my best to help any colleague who asks me for help, no matter from which department, unit or location.
  • My help is only limited by project pressure or if single colleagues push the boundaries.
  • I make it as easy as possible for others to use my work through sound documentation and code structure.
  • Thus I minimize  anybody's effort who needs to use my work or step in for me in case of emergency.

  • I support new colleagues on a moral and technical level.


I have experienced this code mainly as a German SAP developer in Walldorf.
Yet I believe it is quite universal and not limited to one location or even company.
So why write about it?

After all, this code has a strong bias on duties which can make your life hard.
If you are the only person to adopt it, you are doomed:
Others would take advantage of your good-will and time.
Chances are and you would drop it very soon.

However once a group of people adopts it, things look very different:
I was lucky to work with teams where this was the case and I found work enjoyable and rewarding. I felt empowered, my working relations were based on mutual respect and high motivation.

Would I expect we all follow it 100% at all times?
I wouldn't - we are human after all and different people give different weight to different points.
Yet I want to write this code down as an example and reference.

From a company perspective, I believe it has always been a strong contributor to efficiency and success.

Let us re-discover our strengths!