According to Larry Wall, the original author of the Perl
programming language, there are three great virtues of a programmer; Laziness, Impatience and Hubris
- Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to
reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving
programs that other people will find useful and document what you
wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it.
- Impatience: The anger you feel when the computer is being
lazy. This makes you write programs that don’t just react to your
needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to.
- Hubris: The quality that makes you write (and maintain)
programs that other people won’t want to say bad things about.
This is a great video on Pluralsight about setting up your online presence as a developer. It’s another tool in a developers tool chest that will help them to grow their skills.
In this production, Scott Hanselman and Rob Conery offer suggestions and advice on how you can get out there, and get involved. Blogging, Twitter, Github, StackOverflow, User Groups and Conferences: all of this can make you a happier, more productive developer and inspire you to take your career to the next level.
Change terrifies me. Hands down terrifies me. Always has.
A few months ago I took a phone call from a recruiter on a new job opportunity. I agreed to talk to them purely because the guy on the other end of the phone is one I spoken to in the past and I respect him. Over the course of the last few weeks I slowly came to the conclusion that changing jobs may actually be a good idea.
The problem is that I love the job I currently have and the team that I am with. The new place offered me options that were better for my family than where I am currently at. Eventually I put in my notice and discovered that I am a valuable asset to the company. This should not have come as a surprise to me, but it did. They gave me a counter offer that leveled the playing field as far as benefits and the family situation.
Now what do I do. I discovered that when the field was leveled and the decision was purely about me and what I want for myself I froze up. How do I make a decision like this. Leaving a place I love, for the unknown of a new company.
Finally I read the following quote from a woman who I respect and has been in the background of my life for many years whispering in my ear, as any good muse should!
While I realize change can be scary, there comes a time when our “good enough” isn’t “good enough” anymore and we have to leap past our fears with courage and boldness to live the life we want and deserve.
I never quite know what I want out of life. Even after two months of contemplating leaving, it wasn’t until today that I realized I am making the right decision. What become clear to me is that if I don’t take the leap to something new I will not grow in the direction I want to. While the team I am on now is awesome, I feel like the opportunities offered at the new company will help me to grow in my career in a way that my current job will never be able to do.
Saying goodbye to the great team I am with now will be difficult. But looking forward to whats coming up has me excited to see whats around the corner.
I posted an image of Einstein the other day about keeping things as simple as possible. Today I found the following video which shows a great parallel between building wood projects with hand tools and software tools.
Learn the basics deeply.
Review the complex shallowly.
By learning the basics of development and programming languages deeply it will give you the foundation needed to create well formed solid software. By reviewing many complex theories shallowly you know what is possible, expanding your toolkit and general knowledge base.
A person only has so much brain power. We learn new things every day. Old concepts and skills slowly degrade when not used. We fill the space that is created when our old skills disappear with new knowledge. Spending time carefully choosing what that new knowledge will be is an important part of our development as software engineers.
Spend your time focusing on truly deeply understanding the basic fundamentals of the tools and languages you use on a daily basis. Learn to build a small piece of simple software properly with clean code, unit tests, proper documentation, and a simple clean user interface. Being able to do this will help a person better in the long run than being able to use a single piece of complexity that they will never need again.
Instead of trying to learn a complex piece of information completely, take the time to skim over many different complex pieces of information only studying them as deeply as is needed to understand why they are out there. This helps you to build up a toolkit to understand what is possible and what has already been done.
When the time finally does come that you need to understand the complex. Make sure you understand the basics of what it is before you try to use it. Really understand its purpose.