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Cover image for Diary of a programmer #1 - Making contact
Assis Zang
Assis Zang

Posted on • Updated on

Diary of a programmer #1 - Making contact

This is the first article of one series called "Diary of a programmer", where I pretend to write about the problems, challenges, happiness, and atomic bombs of every day of a common software developer.

In this article, I will talk a little about communication in the workplace. Make no mistake if you think this is a trivial matter, a lot of time can be saved by a simple well-written message.

Something I still haven't been able to understand is why people simply text with a short, cryptic "Good morning", with no other words, just a "Good morning".

Every time I get this I keep thinking about what she wants me to answer back, maybe another "Good morning" or maybe "Hello, what do you need?" or maybe "I know! You're in some captivity and the only thing you managed to write without the kidnapper noticing was this? Right?".

If you, like me, use some chat software for communication at work, you've probably already received several of these enigmatic contact codes. When you open the message, you realize that the person on the other end is typing and then your mind teleports to another universe, and you can't think which of the thousands of possibilities the next message will be.

What I want to say here is that, at least for me, it's very annoying and unpleasant to receive hundreds of messages with few words, many times I'm coming up with a new logic to solve that performance problem and out of nowhere those shattered messages appear just to disturb my thinking.

I think on-boarding processes should address this issue, remote work is a global reality and the need for written communication is increasingly common, so why not invest a little time in teaching new team members how to send intelligent and effective messages?

Imagine the team level where all members write effectively. The book "The Passionate Programmer" by Chad Fowler, addresses this issue and asks an interesting question about it: How can we consider that a programmer will do a good job in the code expressing his idea to solve a problem if he can't communicate properly with team members?

Maybe you think it's a little too much to demand from a programmer that, in addition to clean code, he needs to write clean messages, but the truth is that clean code is not written for machines to understand better, but for other humans to have a clear view of the subject when carrying out eventual code maintenance.

In the same way, clear and well-detailed messages can save the recipient a great deal of time.

So when you send a message, try to detail as much as possible, write the traditional and indispensable "Good morning" but also take advantage of the thousands of characters available to detail the reason for the contact, try to make the receiver aware of why you are distracting him.

If you disagree or agree with what has been said, please leave your opinion in the comments.

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