Ready vs Done: A Developer's Perspective

In the world of software development, the concepts of “ready” and “done” are often misunderstood, leading to confusion and miscommunication within teams. Seth Godin’s recent blog post on this topic provides valuable insight into this distinction: Ready vs Done.

As a developer, when I say I am “done,” I often mean that my pull request (PR) is ready for review. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the task is completed. There is still more work to be done before it can be considered truly finished.

According to Godin, being “ready” is about having something prepared for the next step, while being “done” means it is fully complete and deployed. This distinction is crucial in development. A PR being “ready” means it’s in a state to be reviewed and tested, but it isn’t “done” until it has been approved, merged, and deployed to production.

To avoid misunderstandings, it’s important to communicate clearly within the team. When the PR is ready, I should specify that it’s “ready for review.” Only once the task has passed all stages of deployment and is live can I confidently say it is “done.”

This nuanced understanding helps set realistic expectations and ensures smoother workflow and collaboration. By adopting this clear differentiation between “ready” and “done,” we can improve our development process and reduce the risk of miscommunication.