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I'm a mediocre developer


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There's a question that had been with me for a long time: am I a mediocre developer?
The world of software development is populated by a motley fauna, and over time I have learned to recognize the people who cross my footsteps. And it is also thanks (or through their fault) that this state of mind has matured.
I decided to share what I discovered in order to put myself in a mirror, made with other people, in order to verify if someone else has lived the same vicissitudes as me, and maybe to be able to find an answer to this question thanks to them.

Published in: Self Improvement
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I'm a mediocre developer

  1. 1. I’m Ferdinando Santacroce And I'm here to share some personal thoughts. You can find me on Twitter @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ Hello!
  2. 2. I’m a mediocre developer
  3. 3. A small premise * It's about my experience, my history * They're almost all personal opinions I expect you don't agree, that you feel bored, annoyed or that you think I'm really a loser... And that's okay! : ) Just a courtesy: don't keep it for you, let’s talk about it! @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  4. 4. My mediocrity, real or presumed The way I perceive other people, especially the “good ones” There are two issues that concerns me:
  5. 5. What I mean for mediocrity
  6. 6. Not exactly at this level... @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  7. 7. But still, it's about skills * Lack of technical skills * The struggling in solving problems * A general sense of inadequacy @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  8. 8. @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ StackOverflow Driven Development
  9. 9. @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ Too much to know
  10. 10. Some time ago, I used to think I was good at it @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  11. 11. Then I changed job and realized that I wasn't... @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  12. 12. Dunning-Kruger effect When you're so incompetent, you don't even know how incompetent you are. Wikipedia — Dunning-Kruger effect @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  13. 13. Impostor Syndrome @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  14. 14. * Dunning-Kruger effect * Imposter syndrome How good you really are How good you think you are @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  15. 15. What do I mean with the “good ones”
  16. 16. “Fate i bravi!” Don Rodrigo * Only for Italians, sorry :D
  17. 17. Real good ones * 👍 Those to welcome with open arms: intelligent, prepared, persevering, generous, brilliant * 👎 Those to be wary of: individualistic, impatient, toxic The good ones but only ‘cause… * They works in the same company since decades * They prevent anyone from approaching their "castle" * They sacrifice themselves for the cause * Maybe they don't have a private life…
  18. 18. They're not all the same
  19. 19. There are the good ones for real
  20. 20. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
  21. 21. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
  22. 22. And the good ones*
  23. 23. The Silos @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  24. 24. The guardians @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  25. 25. They’re in the same place since years * They know the domain * They know all the secrets, caveats, details * Jealous holders of tacit knowledge * Outside their world, they are in trouble @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  26. 26. The heroes @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  27. 27. The workaholics @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  28. 28. The good ones by contract * Analysts, solution architects, and other mythological figures imposed by someone Let's be clear: there are people with those titles who are really good at it, but I just think these imposed figures are more often than not a dysfunction within the team.
  29. 29. Umarells
  30. 30. Good! So what?
  31. 31. Facing mediocrity
  32. 32. Oh, come on, you're like me?!
  33. 33. Bubble-sort with Hungarian ("Csángó") folk dance, Algorithmics
  34. 34. The 4 knowledge categories * Things I know that I know * Things I know that I don't know * Things I don't know that I know * Things I don't know that I don't know Bonuses * things you think you know, but you don't...
  35. 35. * Dunning-Kruger effect * Imposter syndrome How good you really are How good you think you are * * * * @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  36. 36. Think well about how to invest your resources * You can't learn everything... * Choose the things with the highest value * Learn what you can't easily search on the internet * Learn the basics * Keep it simple @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  37. 37. Be a T «I-shaped» Expert at one thing «Generalist» Capable in a lot of things, Expert at any «T-shaped» Capable in a lot of things, Expert in one of them @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  38. 38. ReactDocker Kotlin Java
  39. 39. That’s not only about technical skill… Soft skillsKung-fu Banjo playing Softwaredevelopment @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  40. 40. Don't feel mediocre towards these people, help them
  41. 41. Empty silos * Work with them, learn, involve, empty them or at worst knock them down * Talk to the people who run the company (they’re a problem!) @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  42. 42. Defeat the guardians See «I terribili “guardiani della codebase” - Paolo D’Incau»
  43. 43. Save the heroes * Heroes usually dies in battle... * If you are always in emergency, nothing is an emergency anymore @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  44. 44. Shoot the outlaws @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  45. 45. Reject fake titles @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
  46. 46. And those who work more than they have to? I have a secret for you… Working long hours is CHEATING
  47. 47. But if these people are not a problem for the company... * If these situations are not perceived and addressed * If they're not a problem for the company's managers, on the contrary, "it's a good thing that there’s <put your name here> that always saves us!" Get a new job!
  48. 48. Beware of 10x…
  49. 49. Rockstar Developers
  50. 50. Rockstar FizzBuzz
  51. 51. Avoid toxic people * Individualists * Disrespectful people * Perfectionists
  52. 52. Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
  53. 53. But when you meet the really good ones…
  54. 54. They're a gift. Enjoy them! * Work with them, look for confrontation, try to learn as much as possible * Ask them all the questions you can * Explain the things you know to them. You'll understand what you really know.
  55. 55. John Von Neumann
  56. 56. Maybe I figured out why I'm feeling mediocre! And I figured out how to stop feeling that way, too!
  57. 57. “Accept to be the weakest player, but in the best team that allows you to play” Thank you :) @jesuswasrasta #AVBZ