Not Releasing Late on Fridays, a Matter of Courtesy

Published on September 24, 2021 (↻ June 23, 2023), filed under and (RSS feed for all categories).

Why don’t we, in engineering departments, prefer not to release late on Fridays—or late on others days?

Occasionally, developers and stakeholders believe that’s because of a lack of confidence in our code and our systems.

The true reason is not that: Not releasing late is a matter of courtesy.

The assumption is that things can always go wrong.

The motivation is to respect our teams and ourselves, and not to risk our teams’ and our own work/life balance unnecessarily—a risk with particularly bad consequences on a Friday, when everyone has made plans or is in need of well-deserved rest.

That’s really all. Late releases can still happen if we consciously weigh the different factors: How important and urgent are the changes, how complex are the changes, how confident are we that the changes will work, how confident are we that we ourselves could fix issues, should they arise, who could otherwise help out, how quickly, how understanding would peers and managers be, how ready are we to take responsibility, &c.

But that must be a conscious decision, looking less at code and systems, but at—people.

That’s why we don’t release late on Fridays, or late on other days.

Thanks Chris Smith for the inspiration for this post.

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on meiert.com I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!