I’ve worked among some very talented developers over the years. Some that can think three times
my speed and solve problems that make my head spin.
Those people are greatly needed in software development, but these aren’t my favorite. As developers and people,
we all have areas of strengths and weaknesses. The greatest weakness I find in software developers is the issue of self, pride — “My way is the best way”.
The willingness to learn and communicate in a nice manner is my favorite trait a programmer can have. Afterall, nobody likes working with a puffed up chest know-it-all casting you down when you want to help.
Good Old Ronald
I recall working with a friend I still keep in touch with named Ronald at an investment company. He entered the company at an entry level position. He had such a great attitude and asked a lot of questions that he got quite good fast. He took his work serious, and he wanted to do a good job. I respect that he really cared about his craft and has gone far.
Another person with the quality at my current work is JoeShon. This guy is humble, and does he not boast about what he has learned, nor does he pretend to know something. We trade tips time to time because we rarely work directly on projects. But it’s a pleasure to work with someone who is a good people person and has a passion for what they do.
“The competent programmer is fully aware of the limited size of his own skull. He therefore approaches his task with full humility, and avoids clever tricks like the plague.” – Edsger Dijkstra
The Machine Tim
But by far the best quality I have ever seen is someone dedicated to their craft so much they
go out of their way to make something simple for another programmer to understand.
One who makes something complex or an annoying task simple, this I credit to my current boss Tim. I do not say this because he’s my boss either. I’ve had bosses that I disliked the way they program though very smart.
Abstracting complexity is a daunting task. I don’t think enough developers appreciate it. I believe it’s a skill only learned over a good decade of programming. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not there yet, but I’d like to be some day.
“Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” – Hal Abelson
The Wisdom of Sam
I will say I work with another gentleman named Sam, who I believe is a very talented individual — yet
I am not in his arena to even have a fair opinion of what he’s writing. I do believe him and Tim possess the
same quality by what they say.
Everything he explains makes complete sense in the way one should build an application, I rarely find an arguable point with him (He was a teacher by the way). He usually helps my overthinking get simplified just by talking something out.
Summary of it all
Sure there are a lot of other people I could mention, but this isn’t a shout out as much as it’s about giving
you some examples of people I’ve met. I’m also not the judge of all developers either. I bring this topic up
because I think the best quality are often in those who go unnoticed and make our jobs easier.
So in summary:
- Keep It Super Simple (KISS)
- Complexity Kills
- and program for people, not computers.