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What do you consider your greatest developer strength? Weakness?

Jerod Santo
I make podcasts and stuff for developers @changelog
・1 min read

On JS Party #78 we talked all about developer strengths and weaknesses (and even shared our own). That got me thinking... we all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes we have them in common, sometimes they're totally unique because of our background/experience. Let's share 'em! I'll go first:

Strength πŸ’ͺ

One of my greatest strengths as a developer (which I learned is shared by some of my JS Party co-panelists) is STUBBORNNESS! I will continue to bang my head against a wall until there's a hole large enough for me to slip a solution through.

Weakness 😭

One of my greatest weaknesses as a developer is I am not good at thinking in libraries, so I often fail to generalize my code for reuse. Or, if I do generalize it for reuse, I don't package it up and release it for others.

Your turn 🀝

What do you consider your greatest developer strength? Weakness?

Discussion (26)

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claudiodavi profile image
Claudio Davi

Strength

I'm a very fast learner and don't shy away from reading extensive documentation. I want to know how it works and if that means reading your source code I most definitely will. After complaining a lot though.

Weakness

I'm never sure of what to build with the skills I have. I have thousands of ideas and have thousands of interests, they often overlap, and when they do I start something new but give up early.

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Jerod Santo Author

After complaining a lot though.

πŸ˜†

I have thousands of ideas and have thousands of interests

Do you collect these anywhere? Are they public? Sometimes a good idea executed well by someone else is better than a good idea that just never sees the light of day...

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claudiodavi profile image
Claudio Davi • Edited

Do you collect these anywhere? Are they public? Sometimes a good idea executed well by someone else is better than a good idea that just never sees the light of day...

Not really. I just keep them to myself. It usually goes like this:
1 - Start a new Side project
2 - Research a lot
3 - Watch videos on the subject
4 - Start building the product
5 - Get bored
6 - Delete the folder and move on
7 - Repeat.

I'm currently trying to break the cycle learning Rust and sticking to it. But I've already thought on giving up a few times.

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kball profile image
Kevin Ball

These ideas would be great blog posts IMO. Both because someone else might get excited and do it, but also because someone else might chime in and help you get excited

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claudiodavi profile image
Claudio Davi

That sounds great. I'd love to get some encouragement to build the things I'm genuinely interested in. If more people were involved it would probably break my vicious cycle!!

Thank you for the idea.

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khalyomede profile image
Khalyomede

So cool to read you guys :)

My greatest strength is like you Jerod, I do not quit something easily. Even when my superior says to quit, there is always a small part of my brain that genuinely wants to solve the problem.

My greatest weakness is that I am not a fast at understanding concepts, so I often have to repeat an exercice, a tutorial, to finally catch the thing.

Weird feeling to admit it πŸ˜‚

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kball profile image
Kevin Ball

Your strength is a great counter for your weakness. :) How fast you understand something wont' matter in the end if you keep at it until you do.

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jerodsanto profile image
Jerod Santo Author

Thanks for sharing! We're more alike than we are different, that's for sure! πŸ€—

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Jaimie Carter

Biggest weakness: thinking anything can be built.
Biggest strength: thinking anything can be built.

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jerodsanto profile image
Jerod Santo Author

I see what you did there 😏

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zenphp profile image
Jason Murray

Biggest strength: I'm able to pick up any API or Library and start using it with minimal ramp up time.

Biggest weakness: I'm unable to say no. I believe, as a developer, my job is to make anything possible, it's the job of the PM and management to temper that with things such as scope and cost. If asked if I can implement a feature, my answer is invariably "yes".

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Glen Connolly

Strength
Genuinely love challenging tasks. The more complex the problem, the more enjoyment I get from it.
Weakness
Cannot gracefully toggle between focuses. If new developers ask a question or there are meetings or a distraction can't be avoided, I react like a woken snorlax for a good 10 minutes before providing any real contribution

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Cubicle Buddha • Edited

Strength:

  • Introspection. I’m always willing to look inside and think about what I’ve done wrong and how I could do better. This includes software, but it mostly refers to reviewing how I interacted with people. I strive to constantly reinvent myself to be happier and healthier with others

Weakness:

  • I am more than a bit obsessive about TypeScript so that means I’m not really ever going to agree with someone who thinks it’s better to write JS. I don’t like that part of myself that is committed to a decision. That being said, it’s a decision I’ve made after years of research and talking to people.
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Max Ong Zong Bao

Strength

Resourcefulness to always find a way despite the present situation looks bad.

Weakness

Being too kind to people who takes advantage of you for your kindness.

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kball profile image
Kevin Ball

I resonate with your weakness, which is part of a spectrum where too far in either direction can be problematic. Too cynical about people and unwilling to help is bad, but too selfless and always giving can leave you nothing for yourself.

That said, I’d rather err on the side of too kind. All of the best things that have happened to me have come as a result of giving to others. So often the more you give the more you get.

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Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

Yes I follow that philosophy of being a giver than a taker. Focusing on giving value than being a person who constantly takes without giving.

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Alex Oladele

Strength
I know that I'm not an expert in what I do, so I'm constantly striving to be better and learn more

Weakness
Sometimes I don't have the patience or mental capacity to learn certain things as in-depth as I want to

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Vinicius Cavagnolli

Strength

I think that a main strength is to easily let any language/technology/architecture go. I usually do not follow the hype so much, and I can be fast in "unlearning" things. I probably used infinite different stacks in different projects, whenever I find them to be the perfect for a given project.

Weakness

9 out of 10 times I spend time on premature optimizations, and I totally hate libraries if they are too extensive (complete, I mean), so because they will have lots of things that I won't use, I end spending lots of time in implementing something already done (I gain some experience in the process and in the end I use the lib πŸ˜…).

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Jerod Santo Author

I usually do not follow the hype so much

Stength or superpower? πŸ˜‰

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Evan Plaice

Strength

Resilience. Throw me in the deep end -- of the ocean -- and I'll wash up on shore the next day.

It's a combo of hardheadedness, resourcefulness, confidence, and ability to quickly adapt learn.

Weakness

I have zero passion to become an 'expert' in current technologies that'll be dead in 5 years. I'd rather develop skills in filuture standards. Unfortunatel, current tech is what everybody is hiring for.

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Scott Bamforth

Strength

I can pick up a learn things quite quickly. It doesn't normally take me long to grasp the concepts of something new and then start applying it to my work. This mainly applies to things I want to learn...

Weakness

I get bored really easily and if I'm working on something that I don't find quite exciting, or have to learn something that I don't want to, it just takes me way longer and I might even just put it off to do something more interesting

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Ross Henderson

Strengths

I am good at developing an idea whilst taking into account future use. I.e. "We can do this, but it'll be a problem when x comes into effect, so we may as well deal with it now".

Weakness

I need to get better at talking to people, not just developers. I struggle to elucidate my point when I find something obvious and other people don't. I get frustrated and people can find me hard to work with at times because of it.

That being said I'm still actively working on my strengths but being very mindful of my weaknesses!

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Daniel Mayovsky

Strength

If I am interested in a library I will research it thoroughly. I will read like 90% of the documentation and see test comparisons and things alike. Will make experiments of varying difficulty to see how comfortable is this library for me and how much is comfortable to do with it. (so far Mithril.js is a winner for me).

Weakness

If I have dropped the project for a week, I dropped it forever. It is quite rare for me to comeback to my project, no matter the stage at which it was done, because I can't come back into the context that I was in.

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Kirill Shestakov

Strength

I'm not afraid of taking on a big thing.

Weakness

Sometimes I start a project that's too ambitions and can't get it to work.