12 Ways National Service Prepared Us for Web Development
Article by Joel Lim
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
It might sound surprising, but National Service (NS) has prepared us for Website Development in several uncanny ways. While our clients don’t scream at us like the infamous sergeants of NS (neither do we scream at them), here are 12 ways the serving the nation has shaped our journey in web development.
1. 5BX (5 Basic Exercises)
Just like how our servicemen start every morning with 5 Basic Exercises, all our projects undergo our checklist of 5 items:
We’re confident in creating websites that work and we’re thoroughly committed to providing a firm, reliable hand to support you in web development.
2. Water Parade
These 2 words are enough to make any NSF or NSMan groan, but it’s all for good reason. Water parades are conducted to keep servicemen hydrated. Once dehydration or heat injuries set in, damage can be permanent.
Likewise, we’re not going to let content on your site dry up. But neither do we believe in inundating your site with an overload of information because that’s not an efficient use of your resources. We believe in the magic words, “Drink beyond the point of thirst”.
That way, you’ll be able to keep your website well-hydrated with content so that you never have to worry about permanent damage!
3. Semula (again)
Are you already rolling your eyes? ‘Semula’ is quite possibly the most dreaded out of all the NS commands in the sergeant playbook.
To the uninitiated, the command ‘semula’ is used to immediately demand a repeat of the drill or exercise and it’s safe to say that nobody likes doing anything twice. It takes up unnecessary time while putting a strain on everyone involved.
To avoid this in web development, we do our best to work on a clear design vision and strategy that is defined and agreed upon at the start of the project. This ensures that both you and our project team are aligned on the goals and expectations, and your project can proceed smoothly to meet your targeted deadline. No need for do-overs!
4. Cepat Lari (run quickly)
‘Cepat Lari’ is a command that means to run quickly. Unfortunately, in National Service, this is often the result of bad planning or a lack of buffer time, resulting in servicemen having to rush from point to point.
As a serviceman, nobody likes being rushed. Rushed work is taxing and often ends up sloppy, which only leads to corrective action like in ‘semula’ despite obvious time constraints.
As a web development agency, we still don’t like being rushed. In this context, rushed work often comes with unrealistic deadlines and this leads to expectations not being met.
At the risk of additional duties, we’d much prefer ‘cepat jalan’, which means to march quickly. When executed well, marching is consistent, organized and sharp. And that’s exactly how we’d like to conduct our business.
5. Immediate Action/Stoppage
In the event of any firearm stoppage during live firing, immediate action must be taken to rectify the issues. It’s no longer safe training if you’re trying to shoot with a faulty rifle, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but everyone around you as well.
Similarly, when it comes to web development, it’s not feasible to go ahead with work if an issue arises. The entire project comes to a standstill and no progress can be made.
At Verz, we minimize this by conducting regular check-ins and prompt handover procedures to ensure that everyone is in sync regarding the progress of every project. This leads to minimal stoppages and your website can develop smoothly without delay.
6. Routine Orders
In National Service, Routine Orders contain a recap of the day’s work as well as the working schedule for the next day. Every night, the Duty Sergeant reads out the Routine Orders to keep all servicemen updated of any milestones as well as the schedule for the next day.
We think that’s a great practice and we’ve taken a leaf out of that book. Today, our Project Managers act as the point-of-contact, providing you with assistance and advice regarding the timeline of your project at regular intervals.
7. SOC (Standard Obstacle Course)
The SOC puts soldiers through a gruelling obstacle course that tests their mettle, forcing them to scale walls and balance on precarious beams while equipped with their rifle and full battle order (consisting of a field pack of equipment, helmet and vest).
For the unprepared, the SOC is gruelling and differentiates the good from the great. For the well-prepared, the SOC is nothing but a walk in the park.
We fall into the latter. With extensive training and preparation, the project team at Verz will run, jump, climb, dodge, and scale any heights to reach their goal – your satisfaction.
8. Buddy Aid
Leave no man behind. In the SAF, we’ve been trained to always look out for our buddy, and to always sound off if they appear unwell. Whenever possible, we’ve been conditioned to provide support and a helping hand.
In web development, our Project Manager will be your buddy. We’re here to support your website needs and help you achieve your goals. From a simple support request to a custom webpage, we’re here for you from start to end.
9. Route March
Everyone knows what a route march is. It’s essentially a long walk with your platoon from one point to another while you’re all fully kitted out with your full battle order.
Much like a route march, website development is like a long walk. But when you do it together with your buddies (that’s us) and have fun along the way, it makes the journey much more enjoyable. It’s also a great way to grow and push yourself!
10. Hentak Kaki Cepat Hentak (Marching on the spot)
When taken literally, “hentak kaki cepat hentak” means to march on the spot, and it’s an arduous process that is only enjoyed by the most sadistic of soldiers.
It’s also one of the few commands that have found notoriety outside the SAF, this phrase rather succinctly describes a serviceman (or salaryman) not being able to progress in his career.
In web development, we see it as a project being stagnant and being stuck in the same phase over a long and painful period. When a project becomes stagnant, it ties up manpower and becomes both a sunk and opportunity cost for our clients.
We believe that the sooner a project is completed, the quicker the results can be felt, and this translates to more sales and brand awareness for our clients.
11. Check Clear
While it doesn’t make literal sense (it doesn’t involve waiting for a cheque to clear), we reckon that thanks to classic Singaporean efficiency, Check Clear is an abridged form of “Check that the firearm is clear”.
For safety reasons, weaponry cannot be kept until cleared of ammo. All servicemen are drilled to always put safety above all else. It would be negligent to toss the rifle into the armoury and make it someone else’s problem.
Correspondingly, before clients leave for the weekend and forget about the project, they have to clear the copy or design and approve it! Your work is valuable to us and we’d be heartbroken if you neglect your potential website. Like we mentioned earlier, the sooner your site goes live, the quicker the results can be felt.
12. Keluar Baris (Fall Out)
“Keluar Baris” literally means to fall out. In the context of the SAF, “keluar baris” means to conclude the day’s training with a march and a flourish to exit the training grounds.
One does not simply say goodbye in the SAF. Being in the armed forces means being professional to the end. Before we can take our leave after an exhausting day of training, we wait for the sacred “keluar baris” to be invoked by the duty sergeant. But of course, we recognise that it only signifies the end of the day’s training, and it’s a bittersweet, temporary respite for what’s next to come.
Here at Verz, we believe in the same practice. We may be finished with your current project, but we’re always excited to work and collaborate with you in the future. Web development is an ongoing process, and it doesn’t simply end with the completion of your website.
Website development is a fruitful and meaningful process. As companies start to work on their websites, they develop a deeper understanding of what their goals and motivations are. Much like how National Service is the backbone of our country, Website Development should be the backbone of your company. Let your website serve your company!
For trusted and reliable web development, choose Verz. We design web excellence.
Let us help you to cepat jalan your web development project forward and complete it with a keluar baris by calling us at 6841 1680 or sending us an email at [email protected] for a free consultation.