Stop Being Horrible At Your Job
- Shawn Biddle
- PHP Dev @ Synacor
Things That Make You Suck
- A laymen is afraid of computers in the same way most people are afraid of a dark alleyway: You're not used to being there, and from everything you've heard there's a good chance of getting into trouble.
- You're a professional, you don't have that excuse. It's your job to be familiar. So instead, dev fears come from the quirky preoccupation that you may not be perfect.
If you don't remember the last time you were wrong that doesn't mean you're getting better.
- Being a luddite is tolerated to a point
- If you hit the "Fuckin' kids, get off my lawn." Congratulations, you've now become the
80 year old doctor that thinks bloodletting is still viable
- You don't have to pick up everything shiny
- However, it's useful from time to time to experiment
- If you've insulted a language but never used it, you're "that guy"
Hi, I'm a Dev and I have a problem
It's harder than you think to see it.
- Just.. one.. more.. upvote!
- I for one, welcome our Slashdot overlords.
There is hope!
Using your tracker
- Keep work time-tracking separate.
- Every time you switch context: track it.
- Make note of what you were working on when you switched.
- Review at the end of the week.
- Prioritize training regimine based on how often you switched contexts: You spent 20 minutes on reddit every time you had to write a new unit test, etc.
(There are other SCMs besides git that do cheap branching so pick one. So long as you're not using SVN/CVS you're safe.)
- Cheap Branching
If you're coding while simultaneously worried about breaking the build by committing your changes to trunk you're doing SCM wrong.
- BEBOP: Branch Early, Branch Often (Please)
Make test branches. Do experimental work. Try things out. All without committing upstream.
- Out in Public
What better way to overcome your fear of failure than to fail in front of the world?
- Push whatever code you're working on to github.
Let people critique, fix your code, send merge requests, tell you that you suck at coding.
The only thing that's more beneficial than you being wrong is other people being wrong for you.
- Go to Stack Overflow, follow tags that interest you
- Help solve problems
- Research solved questions
Keep Being Wrong
The goal of this is not to stop being wrong, it's to understand why you're wrong and to know how to be wrong at the right place and the right time.
You have nothing to gain by being stubborn
- "But Shawn, you use Vim, how can you talk about being stubborn."
- I've try new editors as they come out, they suck, vim's awesome.
- "But Shawn, you use PHP!"
- Not exclusively.
- "But Shawn, unicorns don't exist."
- How dare you! Get Out!
Keep Being Wrong
Stop Being Stubborn