How To Be A Good Developer: Humility

Stay humble.

There’s something I need to tell you.. and it may hurt. You might want to take a seat for this.. You’re not that good.

While perusing through a codebase or participating in some code review, there may be moments where you scratch your head and softly murmur “What the hell? Were they high when they wrote this?”. You should withhold your judgement for a several reasons:

-Take into account the timeline that this person was operating under. Perhaps they were under a tight deadline and had to hack things together.

-Maybe the overall design of the project forbids this person from taking a highly organized, engineered approach to their code.

-They had a skewed mental model of what actually needs to be accomplished. Communication can and does falter.

-You have a skewed mental model of what actually needs to be accomplished. Consider the possibility that you might be wrong.

-This person was potentially just having an off day. Humans make mistakes.

-It could be your code that you’re reading. Try not to be so hard on yourself 😉

Even if you feel you are the fabled 10x developer, time is the great equalizer. We will all be humbled before the project with the ridiculously short deadline. There comes a point where it’s a matter of shipping something vs shipping the perfect thing. Oftentimes that thing you’re obsessed with getting just right doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.