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Discussion on: Am I a good dev?

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Bernd Wechner • Edited on

Hmmm, I have to admit I find your take both interesting, full of sense, and all the same somewhat biased toward apparent anxiety disorders. Let me clarify.

I have done a lot of development and lot of public speaking and I see parallels in your sharing here. Something any speaking coach will share, and I do to juniors, and even have done to my seniors (as often they are suffering deep pre-speaking anxiety too) is that everyone gets nervous ... everyone loses some sleep the night before, everyone knows anxiety, it is not whether you feel nervous or not but what you do in response that diffferentiates people. Sometimes it cripples us. Sometimes it challenges us to defy it. You are not powerless is managing how much of the time it is one or the other.

But why do I read bias in your sharing? Phrases like this: no one is awesome on the job

Sorry but I disagree. Many many people are awesome on the job. I suggest though that the difference in our takes on that is only in what you and I think awesome is. I will have to presume that in your take you mean awesome as in at some grand peak of savvy and performance impressing everyone around you with the quality and quantity of your output. My take on awesome is very different to that. Awesome is when you know your skills, you know your limits, you know when to listen, and when to learn, and when to push forward and to drive and produce. That is awesome. it is not a particular level of skill and knowing. It is a mastery of and awareness of you particular skill and knowledge set (notice I didn't say "level" again, as it is a chromatic spectrum not a climbing thing, a growing thing).

Because you are right. No-one knows all the tech. And in any area of tech there are always people better at it. The first is a consequence of the collected complexity of technology. I mean I could patch machine code fairly easily on an 8086 to strip copy protection from software and did so (Destroyed by the Releaser was a tagline I used inspired by one pirated game I had that was Released by the Destroyer) but today, the layers of tech on any desktop, never mind more a complex system, run so deep no-one indeed is on top of it all nor can be and more than any doctor can be across all of medicine, or any lawyer across all of law, or any English professor across all of English or any Artist across all of art etc.). It has simply grown from its infancy to mature world, IT has.

And so yes it's OK not to know all that but that doesn't stop anyone from being awesome. Awesome is knowing what you do know and what you don't. Knowing when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em if you like tacky cultural allusions, or if you prefer other tacky cultural allusions having the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference ... It is that wisdom that comes at any age and is what is awesome.

We're in a slogging, and learning profession in IT. There is no resting on any laurels. Your challenge is and will remain to stay sane, relaxed, comfortable and happy, in that environment and help those around you do same.

You remind me also for a Quora question I saw recently where someone asked When will I be a real developer and not just copy/paste other people's code? The top answer? Was, paraphrased: That's what a real developer does. A good developer knows what to copy and where to paste it ... ;-)

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Zafar Alam

This should be a blog post!!ðŸĪŠ Love the subjective awesomeness description.

I've been a developer for more than a decade now and there are days that I feel I know nothing about my trade but that's only temporary and as soon as I apply myself I feel awesome about achive the the task at hand.
So, my little advise is keep applying yourself to the work you do and awesomeness will follow you around.

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Roeniss Moon

Interesting. Your "We are awesome" and Jeniffer's "No one is awesome" have the exactly same meaning.

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Bernd Wechner

That is the most twisted logic I've seen in a while. Care to explain? I mean in a sense if all you're saying is they describe the same underlying reality, how we are, fine. But they that is where the similarly ends. One model describes how we are as awesome and the other as none of us are. They are as similar as depression and elation.

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Jenna Ritten

I think there's some bias in her blog post, because it's written from her perspective. there's no such thing as an unbiased article, unless it's a scientific research paper.

if you have a difference of opinions, you should totally post your own blog post as well. I would love to read it!