Alex Bea

The Sliding Scale of Giving a Fuck

Link: The Sliding Scale of Giving a Fuck from Cap Watkins on

Yesterday afternoon, a bunch of us developers were finishing up work a little late in the office and were clearly a little punchy from calls, meetings, and staring at the screen all day. Someone (me) brought up a somewhat contentious enhancement/fix to ApostropheCMS and another dev started up about a related feature he was trying to un-suck in a project.

One of the other developers piped up to the un-sucker, “Do you know what article I’m about to send you?” He definitely did, having been sent it frequently, but I certainly didn’t. A minute later I’m sent the article as well, titled “The Sliding Scale of Giving a Fuck.” The sender’s message: check yourself for how much this really matters to you.

In the article, Cap Watkins, a designer, tells a story about working at Etsy and his working relationship with an engineer on the team. They had many healthy, and sometimes overly long, debates about features until one day the engineer asks, “Hold on a second. I’m like a two-out-of-ten on this. How strongly do you feel?”

Please read the short article yourself for the full story. He outlines well why and how it’s important for those of us in fortunate positions to make decisions about things should make sure we’re not always arguing as if each opinion is a ten-out-of-ten core belief. If we do, our colleagues won’t really be able to know if we’re genuine when something comes up that truly is that important.

A great reminder, and one worth sending to some colleagues, and definitely myself, regularly.