Developers Guide

Be Humble

Following on the heels of being open, we need to be humble when we do something great.  I know there are times when I haven’t been best at this, but I try often to not boast about that I have done well or when I get that promotion. 

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off that new algorithm you have created or the new method you have used to solve world peace.  Great work hidden from the world will not help anyone.  When you have found a new way to do something, let everyone know.  Create a blog, write it down, and share it with the world. 

I have worked with people that are boastful about how great they are and at the end of the day you expect them to be as good as they say.  The problem with these people is that when they fail, they fail spectacularly.  They build themselves up so much that when they do fall they fall hard.  Be humble, say you don’t know when you don’t know, ask for help, let others be there for you and you will find that you will gain more respect that saying you know everything.

Remember your work should speak for itself.  If you have done well you don’t need to tell everyone how well you did with it, let them see it for themselves. 

Do you see a person wise in their own eyes?  There is more hope for a fool than for them. – Proverbs 26:12

Be Open

We all have our ways of doing this, is our way the best?  When someone tells us that we could do something better another way, don’t be close minded.  Is the other person’s way the best, maybe not, but be open to their idea because it could be better.

Something that has taken the computer world by storm has been open source software.  This is beyond just the comradery of contributing to something bigger than oneself but it is also the free exchange of ideas and being able to build on the collective good of all people.  This openness has advanced may projects at a rapid pace.

I am not going to say that close source software is better or worse than open source, I am just pointing out that open source software gives the ability of the many to contribute and advance the cause.  So in a sense the open source software movement is fueled by people that are open to criticism and that is what we all need to be in general.

Deliver Your Best

Doing your best doesn’t mean you are perfect.  The enemy of good is perfect.  Sometimes you need to get it done and making it perfect will mean that it will never get done.

Bob Ross said it best that we don’t make mistakes we make happy accidents.  We learn the most from our failures. 

At the end of the day, is this your best work?  Are you lazily going through each day just getting by?  If you are just throwing stuff together, you need to figure out how to get out of that rut and make it work.  You don’t have to be perfect but you should deliver your best. 

Be Creative

Creativity isn’t necessarily painting happy trees or composing the next symphony but we live our lives in a world that offers a wide range of ways to be creative.  Doing things, the same old way, may be comfortable but the same old way can be boring.  Humans can find their greatest joy in coming up with their own way to accomplish a task.

We can be creative with everything we do.  Something that I did a long time ago was to add a flower petal on a console application that was doing data processing.  I needed to know that the application was continuing to process data and I could have done this any way, but I thought it would be good to do this with a flower petal.  There was more time involved with showing progress this way but it was well worth it to me for my thought processes. 

Creativity for me is finding cool ways to do something sometimes just changing it up a bit by using different methodology to solve a problem or writing a blog post to help others.  This is the first post in a series of posts that outline how I have become successful as a developer.  I will post these over the course of the next couple of weeks and at the end will give you a cool acronym to go along with this series (having some creative fun).