Who doesn't love sustainability, right? At Ackee, we want to be the go-to partner for sustainable digitalisation. But what does it actually mean? From our point of view, there are a lot of topics that together create #susdigi. Right now, let's talk about recycling.
With recycling you can get in touch on a daily basis. You go to the store, buy one Coke and after you use it, you’re probably left with a plastic bottle. You can go and throw it into the waste. But if you throw it into the plastic trash, all the plastic bottles are then collected and after some time you can buy your bottle in some other form like slippers. 😁 By reusing already used materials, we lighten up the need to get resources from our planet to create something new from resources we already used.
In general, recycling is a process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.
What to recycle?
It may not be easy to see it right now but there are many things that you can recycle. You just have to look around, stop for a minute and think about it. As mobile app developers, one of the most obvious areas to recycle is the source code we produce. Writing the same code repeatedly for similar problems is inefficient and wasteful. By creating reusable modules and libraries, we can save time, effort, and computing resources while also promoting a more sustainable development process. But we don't have to stop only at the source code.
You can also recycle processes we follow or know-how we share. For example, when it comes to app releases, specifying all the required parameters each time is repetitive and resource-consuming. You’ll learn how to do it after several times, but when a junior developer or a new team member comes to the projects, they have to learn it again. By creating comprehensive documentation or automated scripts for app deployment, we can streamline the release process, reducing errors and ensuring continuity even with new team members.
With recycling you can spend less time on the given task. In business, less time means less money spent, so our board members are also happy. 🙂 And you also lower the risk. You don't want to create the same thing over and over again. It’s time consuming. Creating the same app features from scratch repeatedly introduces the risk of making new mistakes with each iteration. By recycling well-tested code and established components, we can avoid potential problems and minimize the risk of introducing new bugs. Better to have shared know-how in a document that is shared across all your teammates and polish that know-how during recycling. By maintaining comprehensive documentation, we can capture best practices, solutions to common problems, and valuable insights gained during the development process.
Recycling also gives us the opportunity to identify and address bugs and issues during code reviews. When new features are developed using existing, well-tested code, it becomes easier for us to spot potential problems and ensure a higher level of code quality.
Taking care of recycled things
But recycling is not that simple. For best results, you have to take care of the recycled things. In the plastic bottle of Coke example, you have to wash it before it can be reused because the residual Coke can damage the reused bottle. The same goes for the source code, processes and know-how in our case. You have to carefully pick what to reuse. Once you pick it you should write documentation on how to use it. And the final step is to make it separate from all other things. Remove all dependencies and all unnecessary adjustments that are only for one-time use. With all those steps you’ve created a recycled product that is easy to use for future users that can also help with maintaining all the stages.
To summarize, just don't solve some problem twice. If you can create a reusable product from what you already have, do it. And share it with your colleagues, they probably want it as well. And finally, take care of it. With that, you created a very nice solution to your problem that can be reused by almost everyone. And those people can also help you with maintaining the recycled product.