Know when to not throw in the towel

Dear new developer, I wrote previously about when to throw in the towel. Now I want to mention when you shouldn't. Anything worth doing is hard. That includes software development. There are times, sure, when it feels like you're a superhero. When the code is flowing. When you can hold the entire system in your … Continue reading Know when to not throw in the towel

Laziness, impatience, hubris

Dear new developer, Larry Wall has created foundational software (perl, patch). He coined the three virtues of a programmer: 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 … Continue reading Laziness, impatience, hubris

Choose an employer who treats you well during an interview

Dear new developer, You may not realize it, but you have a lot of power during the interview. Sure, it doesn't feel like it, but right now a lot of companies are seeking developers, and you are desired. There are many many things to consider when taking a job, but one strong indicator of how … Continue reading Choose an employer who treats you well during an interview

Understand the business

Dear new developer, Your code is written to further some end. It could be for academia, government, or, more likely, for business purposes. In all the cases, having a greater understanding of these overarching purposes will allow you to make smarter decisions and write better systems. However, just like in software development, business uses a … Continue reading Understand the business

Strong convictions, loosely held

Dear new developer, When building a system, you're going to be confronted with lots of decisions. Unless you are operating in a total vacuum, you'll have to reach agreement with other people. This will lead to discussions and arguments, as all the people involved will bring their viewpoints and experience. You should definitely participate, and … Continue reading Strong convictions, loosely held