A common German saying is „the shoe maker always wears the worst pair of shoes!“ – that’s also true for the IT business. Usually internal tools or services are developed lukewarm and without the required professionalism.
The basic idea – everything for the customer!
The time you might spend on “polishing” those projects should better be invested into customer projects. If not you might endanger yourself in neglecting your own business. Generally true but…
Internal tools are there to support the business aren’t they?
If you figure out that you might need an internal tool to run your business you should spend the required time in developing them properly. Of course it is possible to enter every article in a web shop with an SQL-command – it just takes a bit longer. Or you take the time to build a tool – it might be more work now but it will save you a lot of work later on.
DevOps – GitHub & Stackoverflow for example
Especially since there is a growing number of DevOps you might think about investing more time into your internal tools. GitHub and Stackoverflow show you how.
In a job ad they wrote:
Internal Tools at GitHub:
Internal tools at GitHub are central to our culture and improving the way we work together. Because of this, internal tools aren’t an afterthought for us — we build them like real products. We work with people in all areas of the company to build tools to make communication better and improve everyone’s workflows, from hiring to accounting to planning community events.
Recently the Stackoverflow-team gave us a good look into their DevOps world. A small once-over:
More examples in the blogpost.
Think about this other saying “I don’t have time to grind my axe. I have to log trees.” And check your processes and tools for some improvements. Your team members will be thankful ;-).