Paving the way for growth

Urban planners know the importance of infrastructure and the role they play in the growth and development of a city. Transportation and telecommunications networks along with basic services like water and electricity are vital for cities.

Infrastructure is also an crucial component in the growth and scalability of companies. Apple is not only great at making products but also extremely good at getting them to their customers’ hand. It’s no easy feat to manufacture and deliver millions of iPhones to people around the world.

Infrastructure for your team

Recently, while I was pair programming with a colleague, I realised the importance of infrastructure for the productivity and growth of our team. With proper equipments, processes, standards and frameworks, the team will be able to move faster, makes less mistakes and deliver more value.

In our case, infrastructure is more than just fast broadband speed and good equipments. It’s also the coding standards, tools, development frameworks and processes we have in place. Part of my job as lead is to make sure my team have access to the best infrastructure while constantly trying my best to improve them.

Some of these may seem trivial and a little pointless to spend time and effort on. Why do we need to care about code styles when we are rushing for deadlines? Who have time to bother with testing when we barely have enough time to write the actual code?

Your team infrastructure should be there to support and not get in the way. Introduce tools and process to automatically handle code styles issues. Adopt standards and schedules that makes testing part of the development process. The aim is to make it as easy as possible to get stuff done right.

You should however take caution when trying out the latest tools and processes. It’s better to have no infrastructure than a bad one. Test them out first in isolation before enforcing them on the entire team.

Infrastructure for yourself

Similar to how a city flourish with roads and access to neighbouring cities, we too need proper infrastructure to grow as a person. And I don’t mean access to the internet or food. I’m taking about our personal growth rather than our physical growth.

The most basic infrastructure for our growth is our health. Without good physical health, nothing else matters. We must make sure that we are healthy and fit before we can improve other aspects of our lives. 

It’s important for us to eat right, sleep well and stay active. With a healthy foundation, we will then have the energy and capability to pursue our dreams and goals. So if you want to grow and improve, start by paying more attention to your health.

The next infrastructure we should have in place is our mindset. Specifically, the growth mindset, which is a belief that our intelligence, talents and abilities are not fixed traits that we are born with but rather skills we can develop with dedication and hard work.

Those with growth mindset love to learn and are willing to put in effort to get better. Instead of simply accepting their current capability, they strive to improve and develop them with practice. This is where your health comes in handy and serves as the foundation to build these skills on.

Invest in your infrastructure

We tend to take infrastructure around us for granted. We expect the lights to light up when we flick the switch. We assume there’s water when we turn on the tap. 

But unlike a city, we don’t have planners whose sole job is to make sure there’s proper infrastructure in place. That job falls on us and we are our own infrastructure planner. It is essential for us to realize the importance of our health and mindset to support and fuel our growth. 

If you care about your growth, start investing on your personal infrastructure. Pave the way for growth by looking after your health and adopting a growth mindset. Having good infrastructure around you will support and accelerate your growth in all aspects of your life.

If you agree on the importance of your own personal infrastructure, please share this article with your friends to get them start on investing on their own infrastructure. And if you liked this article, do take a minute and subscribe to my blog for more insights in personal growth and team dynamics.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash