It takes persistence, determination, and many years in order to perfect a craft, but in the case of Jiro Ono, a sushi chef made famous by the documentary film Jiro Dreams of Sushi, he spent his entire life in pursuit of perfection.
Always looking to improve, Jiro worked hard every day to improve all aspects of his craft, from sourcing better ingredients, to preparing his dishes, to delighting his customers with the highest quality sushi. He was so determined to deliver the best experience possible that he fixated on every aspect of the meal, even changing the orientation of the sushi on the plate if the customer was right- or left-handed.
These small improvements compounded over the years, and Jiro’s small 10-seat restaurant located in a Tokyo subway station, Sukiyabashi Jiro, became the first sushi restaurant in the world to receive three Michelin stars.
Although programming requires a very different set of skills than making sushi, writing software is also viewed as a craft, and as programmers, we are always looking to improve our coding skills.
Engineering excellence is a means to an end, not an end goal in itself. It is the relentless pursuit to raise the bar in terms of the quality of our software and the speed at which we can deliver it to users. Senior engineers continuously strive towards engineering excellence to improve the processes by which their team delivers software. They identify barriers and obstacles that prevent themselves and their team from doing their best work, and then work to remove those barriers in order to unlock higher quality and greater throughput for the team as a whole. In doing so, the goal is to delight users with the best experience possible.