Saturday, June 11, 2011

Three Spirits in The Soul of a Software Developer

Great Artist

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘You cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. – Vincent van Gogh
The first spirit is a Great Artist who pushes our fellow programmer to work on challenging tasks, invent new approaches and seek for self realization. The spirit gives power and desire to create state of art solutions and move forward with learning and practice. The Great Artistspirit is behind the best software; it makes the developer to think out of box, strive for beautiful code and forget everything outside the problem. It is powerful spirit but dangerous for ordinary business – there is no predictability and assurance that developer will remember what client really needs. The developer driven by this spirit tend to reject mediocre, but good enough solutions, will do stuff his own way and go far beyond what is necessary. This developer has zero tolerance to poor code and will refactor most important pieces of code even night before important demo… after testers go home to sleep.

Reliable Worker

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent. – John Donne
The second spirit is a Reliable Worker who puts interests of the team, company and client on the first place. The developer driven by this spirit completely dedicates himself to success of the project and Greater Good. The Reliable Worker spirit  suppresses creativity and code that is not sanctioned by management and could fail. The developer will stay late to meet deadlines and fix embarrassing bugs; he will test after testers and verify installation after administrators.This altruistic spirit makes a developer focused, accountable and disciplined citizen of the company, but sometimes cause stress, uneasiness and feeling of wasted talent.  The danger is that  Reliable Worker spirit can evaporate fast if a company don’t care about developer’s hard work and sacrifices.

Selfish Pragmatist

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. – John Lennon