Why create a principle?

"I write because I don't know what I think until I read what I say." - Flannery O'Conner.

"Writing is a matter of sketching and building and arranging and fixing what is in your brain." - Drew Magary

Here are some of the benefits of writing a principle:

You become more capable

Clarifies your thinking. The process of writing clarifies your thinking. During the process of writing a principle, it distils your thought process to find out what you really believe.

Reveals your automatic behaviours. Creating principles exposes your automatic behaviours. Without exposing them, automatic behaviours make it harder for you to work on teams effectively and perform at your best. Writing a principle is the best way to attach your automatic behaviours to the logic that created them. So you know why you do things at a conscious level.

You won't forget what you know. Having your thought process written down allows you to organise your most important thoughts and principles. So you'll always be able to remember the logic - the why - behind your behaviour.

You will become a better engineer. You will be able to reach higher levels of complexity as an engineer. Writing down your principles encodes your behaviour into small chunks. So your problems will be solvable with less effort as it guides your actions. You will free up capacity in your mind for more complex tasks.

You can get alignment

You become more convincing. You can back your arguments with logic as your behaviour is no longer automatic. Most people can't really tell you why they believe something; it's hard for them to get their views across and thus tend to lose out to people who can.

You align your teams . You expose your behaviours, allowing your teams to interrogate behaviour and add it to their own, especially if they don't have any principles themselves.

Raise your profile

Get your ideas across to 10,000s of people. Sometimes you might have a fantastic idea, but your lack of a renowned blog or social media following makes it harder to get noticed. On principles.dev your ideas will be seen by a large number of influential people.

(note: you can also post your principles on your blog and to your network. There are unique settings on principles.dev to ensure that it doesn't interfere with your search engine rankings: enabling the canonical meta tag)

Thousands of people can use your thoughts and integrate your ideas into their behaviour. Your one idea can have a global impact on how people engineer worldwide and may become renowned for your unique insight.

Job offers. People may approach you for job offers just for the principles you write on the website (I have personally received some). Seeing your thinking is aligned will do that. You might want to make it evident on your profile you're interested in work (put it in the company box).

Expand your network. Creating interesting principles will expand your network as people want to talk to you about your ideas. The possibilities are endless and unique. Make sure you leave some contact details in your profile.

Benefits on principles.dev

You will get a founders badge. Having the elusive founder badge will look great on your profile in the future. Hurry, it's only available to the first 100 or so contributors.

You will get special features. The principles.dev community needs people to maintain its standards. Only people who have contributed will be able to do that. Such as vote on the best principles (once the feature is available). You will help decide what's valuable and allowed.

Community benefits

You will be able to shape the future of software engineering. Ideas borne and collected here will factor into the thought processes of millions of people in the future. You can be a part of that.

You're helping the community. Contribute what you have learned to teach the next generation of engineers and leaders. Whilst raising your profile in the community. Build capability for 1,000s of people and pass on your ideas.