March 20, 2018

The developers mindset

Web development has changed a lot. Technology changes, ideas change, people change. And especially that last one is an important one.

The developers mindset

Web development has changed a lot. Technology changes, ideas change, people change. And especially that last one is an important one.

When i started developing it was a somewhat of a lonely business. A client would ask for a website, a few people would work on it everyone would perform the task they were best in and very basically said, that was it. If something went wrong with a specific part the person who built it would fix it.
That is no longer the case, or at least I think it shouldn't be the case anymore.

In today's world of web development we have a lot of tools to make life easier for everyone. From code tracking, checking, testing, deploying. For every issue that anyone has faced a solution has been found. Be it a good solution or not, a solution is there. And for every issue that will come a solution will follow. However the more important part is for people to understand the issues or difficulties. Which is just as, if not more important. That is why development should not be an individual job.
If you face a problem and you fix it, then you know what was wrong and that knowledge remains in one place.

Luckily the job of a developer is no longer a stereotype of one guy working on one thing. I've worked with projects where everyone is interested in the development of the project, not just their part. So when discussing on the approach on how to build something everyone can listen in and let their voice be heard. Of course we'll all have preferences and like certain parts of the job better then the other. That doesn't mean we're working on our own projects. You're part of a team and as a team you want to deliver the best product you can and in the meantime search for ways to improve the team as a whole and yourself during that process.

If you're a freelancer and working as a one man operation, that still doesn't mean you're alone. We have the Internet, so nowhere and no one is unreachable. If you've come up with ideas or solutions post them online. Add your code on github as a library or a gist, add your docker images and so forth. So others who might face the same issue can find your solution. And if they have ideas to improve your solution they can give you feedback and you can learn from it.
And i know when reading this, you're thinking that's nice and all when working on open-source code but my project is a closed source project. That still doesn't mean you can't reach out to others for help and feedback. You don't need to publish your entire project for a single question. Or even more important, that doesn't mean you can't help others. Invest time in answering other peoples questions. It forces you to think about issues, and thus learning about them if you've never faced them.
Or simply provide help to other people. It doesn't always have to be about you ;-)

When working with others i still sometimes see an old fashioned mindset. People afraid to ask for help or seeing feedback on their work as a personal assault. The motto i try to keep in the back of my mind and share with them is:

Nobody knows everything, but work together and we might just know enough to get the job done and improve our skills along the way.

I know that might seem corny but typing code is the easiest part of the job. That's just hitting some keys on your keyboard. Knowing what to type and how to type it reusable, readable, testable and maintainable is a process that takes a lot of time and knowledge if you want to do it right. So don't try to do everything by yourself.

Just remember that whenever you think you're stuck, ask for help, whenever you have ideas that might help, tell them and whenever someone gives you feedback, listen to it and see it as a way to improve yourself.

Go sit with other developers behind one screen and code together, have Friday afternoon sessions and just talk about issues you've faced and how you solved them. Take a new technique and try it out together.

Just don't code alone, because then your knowledge is yours alone and that knowledge eventually will fade away, which would be a waste.

In conclusion, open yourself for the ideas of others, help others and let others help you. If you work with that mindset, development will become a comfy, social and easier job.