How to (Not) Become The Worst Developer On Earth
We all have one developer that doesn’t fit. A developer that goes over the deadlines. Doesn’t deliver. Raises trivial questions. Not dumb, but trivial.
Let’s avoid being that developer.
Reading this piece, you’re not the worst. We are all here for tips and value to be added to our lives. Your willpower leads you to a better spot in your team.
Let’s proceed to the actual tips. Hopefully, these help both of us.
(You’re) Not The Best Developer In Town
Let’s face it. We’re not the best. Become above the average developer.
You shouldn’t take too much pride in your work. Don’t code like your the senior developer. Question everything. Test every line of code.
Even my team leaders correct themselves. They create bugs as well. They’re not the best, but improving every day.
Code With (No) Plan
Plan ahead. Plan for bugs. Plan for delays.
Always plan and block time for your tickets. Time blocking helps you achieve so much. You deliver on time and get instant gratification after finishing.
Take your time to review tickets. Adjust your own estimate, and add a bit of extra time, if needed. Planning ahead sets a deadline, and you get motivated to work.
(Never) Ask Questions
You should never explain your solution. This leads to a lot of confusion. Explain your problem, and ask questions.
Business never proposes solutions, only problems. You’re there to solve them. Proposing solutions leads nowhere. Ask questions, even dumb ones can reveal intent.
(Don’t) Help Team Members
This “lone wolf” approach to programming has been giving way to a more collaborative approach, which, I would argue, improves quality, productivity, and job satisfaction for programmers. — 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know
You need effectiveness in your talk with others. Help, help, but also ask for help. You’re in the same boat. Riding to business success. One hard-working team member means nothing if others don’t work as much.
Talk with your team members. There is more to life than software. Talk about their passion, what they do in their spare time.
You spend most of your time with them. Make it count. Develop a connection, if they suit you, if not talk business only.
(Never) Learn About The Product
You built a company and hired a few developers. Wouldn’t you like for them to know your company values? What you strive to achieve? If they know what they’re building, and passionate about it, they will deliver great work.
I know most of the software products are mundane. Especially the web projects, not talking about startups.
We get a ticket, do some work, assign it to the testers. That’s our job. We can add our own opinion, even though the ticket is defined. If we know the product so well, we can see ahead. This leads to becoming a better developer.
(Don’t) Add Tests For Your Code
This seems to go without saying, but testing is what most developers don’t do. I’ve worked on several projects, only developing, no testing included.
I did miss test cases, that lead to bugs. You should not test only for sunny scenarios. Add invalid inputs, get your code under pressure, and see how it behaves.
(Avoid) Doing Code Reviews
Read code. Leave meaningful comments. Become very knowledgeable of your project.
I’ve done over a thousand code reviews. They benefited me a lot. Review code you would never think of. Reading through at least two PRs per day, you can learn a lot about your project.
(Don’t) Know What Your Code Does
Avoid bad code. Avoid dead code. Know what your code is doing.
Don’t rely on “Magic Happens Here”. Keep your code decoupled as much as possible. Test positive scenarios, but also negative ones. Look at business requirements, and adjust your code.
Never take for granted foreign code. Look at the documentation. Look at known issues. Check if it suits your needs. Don’t add new code, just for the sake of adding it.
You should always improve yourself. Read tips, implement, and improve your skills.
I hope these tips help you in your career. Most of these should already be applied. Still, I see a lot of colleagues not doing the before-mentioned tips.
The resources I’ve used are below this section. Always learn new stuff, stay safe, and read on.
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