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Life Can Be Tough, But We Are DAMN Good at What We Do!

kaelscion on February 08, 2019

Devvers, lend me your ears...eyes...ears? Whatever, just listen. The past six months have been rough for me personally. Health issues always suck, ... [Read Full]
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As I've said on my many similar threads before...

"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less." -C.S. Lewis

To put that another way, humility is having an accurate view of oneself - not overinflated, but not flat either. That means being equally vocal about strengths and weaknesses, mistakes and successes, triumphs and trials.

For example, I am very good at manual memory management in C++. I'm great at refactoring, algorithmic efficiency, optimization, data structures, and debugging undefined behavior. I've actually written data structures that beat analogous std:: classes in terms of average performance.

Meanwhile, I am not good at path-finding algorithms. In fact, I know virtually nothing about them. I have no experience with graphics rendering. And my tendency to problem solve at the bare-metal level means I sometimes overlook handy abstractions that would save me time. It's not "NIH = Not Invented Here" so much as it's "FSESI = Forgot Someone Else Solved It". (Yet, my FSESI means I sometimes invent fantastic new solutions to things.)

I'm an expert in some things, good at others, and quite green in many others. That will be true of every developer for their entire careers, and I am no exception!


Couldn't agree more with your final sentiment! I read a quote recently that said about programming: "Find your super power. Then find a team filled with people with different super powers and go change the world."

Also, to quote another literary icon in conjunction with your quote: "Everything in moderation. Including moderation." I absolutely agree that there is a time for modesty, and a time to put in a little show to remind those around you why you are the go-to for your skillset. Thank you so much for sharing!!


„I'm an expert in some things, good at others, and quite green in many others. That will be true of every developer for their entire careers, and I am no exception!“ - Jason C. McDonald

Where can I sign?

Ahhh yes, forgot the bragging...
we had an external developer, who should write some merging of two data sources. It ran for about 2h before some scheduler decided to kill a hanging process. It was about 50k entries each and should have taken much less time, so I took a look. After i was done, it was done in under 5 minutes and I did not have to do much.
Saving intermediate search results to have them available saved a huge portion of the time. Early fail returns in comparisons another big chunk.

But to show the other side as well: I am currently into learning F# and I fail even on the simplest of tasks, which I could do in my sleep in C# or C++.


"coffee-getter" i wish my juniors were that bad.
I would never have to get out of my chair.

Seat sores do not grown on their own you know!..


Hey, we gotta get our 8 hours of sitting time in, for science! But all kidding aside, that kind of hazing, in my own experience, is declining. Back when I started in tech, the low person on the ladder was responsible for two things: 1. Taking blame for mistakes made by those above you. And 2. Producing great work that those above you could take full credit for. And while I completely understand that these things are still a problem in a lot of places, I can say that, personally, i've seen a sharp decline in such behaviors and tolerance for them by executives and management. And I really hope that this trend continues. But, boy do I remember being the errand wench early on!


That's gotta suck, i've never experienced that on my own person, i chalk it down to luck, because i have experience plenty of other unhealthy practices.

When i started my current employment the juniors were getting neglected.
I implemented pair-programming, mobbing, mentoring and organized teamwork and it's raised their output and quality greatly, even if they still have waays to go (and so does my team lead skills).

It's made me realize how much of a waste it is to hire a junior if you do not have the time to mentor and tutor them.

It's just plane bad business, which could be a factor in the positive trend. :)


I missed this when you posted, but I still want to congratulate you on pulling through and exercising your (underused) bragging skills.

A lot of my work and accomplishments at work are in the team-building and product development. Not really quiet or background work, especially with the great group of devs I'm lucky enough to work alongside.

I do need to brag a bit, though. I've been building assembly kernels for the go port of BLAS/LAPACK with the project. It's up to about 5k loc for the x86_64 blas kernels, each of which nearly doubled the processing speed for the specific calculation.

Most users don't need to dig that deep into the code, plus they generally don't want to write assembly. I enjoy the challenge of building out the assembly kernels, plus the performance benefits are immediately available to all of the code that has been built on top of the gonum libraries.

Still more to do, but I'm proud of the work I've done there so far.

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