by Leon Rosenshein


I’ve spent the last 10 years or so down in the metaphorical engine room. Working on developer experience, infrastructure, platforms, and tools. The things you often don’t notice or talk about unless there’s a problem. Then folks complain about it. Then, when it’s better they thank the person who told them about the fix. And I think that’s a problem.

Because it leads to things like this comic.


Two people each see a small problem. One fixes the one they see. The other watches it grow bigger, impacting lots of people. When everyone is aware of the big problem the second person fixes it. The first person is ignored, and the second is marked as a hero

Two people saw small problems but their responses were very different. The first person saw the problem, fixed it, and moved on. The second person just looked at theirs, or maybe didn’t even notice it. Then, when the problem was big and lots of folks saw it and were impacted, they fixed it. The first person was ignored. The second person was declared a hero.

And that’s wrong. Preventing the big fire is much more impressive. Noticing a small issue and keeping it from growing has a much bigger impact on the group as a whole. We need to be thanking the first person.

And understanding why the second person didn’t do anything originally. And getting them to fix problems when they find them.

The first person is being a hero. That’s what we should be celebrating. A culture of quality.