I'm a mediocre developer

Ferdinando Santacroce
Ferdinando SantacroceDev, author, speaker, learner at Intré
I’m Ferdinando Santacroce
And I'm here to share some personal thoughts.
You can find me on Twitter @jesuswasrasta
I'm a mediocre developer
I’m a mediocre developer
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
My mediocrity, real or presumed
The way I perceive other people,
especially the “good ones”
There are two issues that concerns me:
What I mean for mediocrity
Not exactly at this level...
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
But still, it's about skills
* Lack of technical skills
* The struggling in solving problems
* A general sense of inadequacy
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
StackOverflow Driven Development
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Too much to know
Some time ago, I used to think I was good at it
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Then I changed job and realized that I wasn't...
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Dunning-Kruger effect
When you're so incompetent, you don't even
know how incompetent you are.
Wikipedia — Dunning-Kruger effect
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Impostor Syndrome
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
* Dunning-Kruger effect
* Imposter syndrome
How good you really are
How good
you think
you are
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
What do I mean with
the “good ones”
“Fate i bravi!”
Don Rodrigo
* Only for Italians, sorry :D
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…
They're not all the same
There are the good ones for real
Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
And the good ones*
The Silos
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
The guardians
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
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
The heroes
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
The workaholics
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
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
So what?
Facing mediocrity
Oh, come on, you're like me?!
Bubble-sort with Hungarian ("Csángó") folk dance, Algorithmics
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
* things you think you know, but you don't...
* Dunning-Kruger effect
* Imposter syndrome
How good you really are
How good
you think
you are *
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
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
* Learn the basics
* Keep it simple
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Be a T
Expert at one thing
Capable in a lot of things,
Expert at any
Capable in a lot of things,
Expert in one of them
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
ReactDocker Kotlin
That’s not only about technical skill…
Soft skillsKung-fu Banjo playing
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Don't feel mediocre towards
these people, help them
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
Defeat the guardians
See «I terribili “guardiani della codebase” - Paolo D’Incau» https://vimeo.com/259162101
Save the heroes
* Heroes usually dies in battle...
* If you are always in emergency, nothing is an emergency
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Shoot the outlaws
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
Reject fake titles
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
And those who work more
than they have to?
I have a secret for you…
Working long hours
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!
Beware of 10x…
Rockstar Developers
Rockstar FizzBuzz
Avoid toxic people
* Individualists
* Disrespectful people
* Perfectionists
Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie
But when you meet the
really good ones…
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.
John Von Neumann
Maybe I figured out why I'm
feeling mediocre!
And I figured out how to stop
feeling that way, too!
“Accept to be the weakest player, but in
the best team that allows you to play”
Thank you :)
@jesuswasrasta #AVBZ
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