Over the past few years, I’ve managed to accumulate a ridiculously large backlog of links that I’d been meaning to blog about here on Global Nerdy. It’s time for me to do some spring cleaning, so from time to time, you’ll see these posts where I unload the links that are still good, both in the sense of still being online and still being valid and useful. Enjoy!
Things I Was Unprepared For As A Lead Developer (September 7, 2017)
Here’s Pascal de Vink at WebCamp Zagreb (2017) talking about the non-coding things that a lead developer does: delegating, culture building, mentoring, planning, meetings, dealing with upper management, and more.
On company culture
- It’s not an asshole problem — it’s a bystander problem (December 31, 2014): Cate Huston writes that the real problem that women in tech face isn’t the assholes, but the bystanders, who allow the assholes to continue with their ways.
- Ten unmistakable signs of a fear-based workplace (March 7, 2017): If you haven’t worked at a place where management practices rule by fear, consider yourself fortunate! Here’s how you spot these places before you get trapped in one — go and read the full article, but here’s my quick summary of those 10 signs:
- Everyone’s focused only on their immediate goals.
- Managers and HR specialize in assigning work, measuring results, punishing infractions and maintaining order.
- People are afraid to tell the truth because they already know no one wants to hear it.
- All people talk about is who’s in management’s “good books” and “bad books”.
- Employees wonder if they’ll have a job next week.
- Following rules and avoiding blame are top priorities.
- Managers pay lip service to collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking, but no one takes them seriously.
- Employees disappear without warning.
- It’s not the smartest and most capable employees who get promoted — it’s the ones who most wholeheartedly embrace the fear-based culture.
- No humor or humanity.
- In 2017, your internal culture is your brand (August 7, 2017): Written not long after James “Google Manifestbro” Damore wrote his terrible (and justifiably career-limiting) screed, this article explains that a company’s culture is now the story it tells about itself to the outside world.
James Hague suggests that one of the problems with working on a few big projects is that this approach limits your expertise: “Someone who does roof work on fifty houses a year looks a lot more the expert than someone who needs two years to ship a single software project.”
This sketchbook of implemented ideas isn’t a paper book, but a collection of small programs. It could be as simple as a folder full of Python scripts or Erlang modules. It’s not about being right or wrong; many ideas won’t work out, and you’ll learn from them. It’s about exploring your interests on a smaller scale. It’s about playing with code. It’s about having fun. And you might just become an expert in the process.
The Programming Talent Myth (April 12, 2015)
In his keybote at PyCon 2015, Django co-creator and Heroku Director of Platform Security Jacob Kaplan-Moss describes himself as “At best, an average developer”. He talks about the myth of the “10x programmer” and how the dichotomy between the rock star programmer and the “average” developer is a false one.
Also worth checking out:
- In Praise of the Average Developer (May 8, 2015): An article inspired by the talk above.
- You are not a 10x developer (September 23, 2013): This article says that yes, 10x developers exist, but that’s largely because all human talent — from number of academic papers published, to Emmy nominations, to NBA career points, and yes, even programming — follows a power law distribution that looks like this:…which makes all but a very fortunate few below average.
- The mythical 10x programmer (February 28, 2017): Read this for the list of qualities that you can try to cultivate to be a more productive programmer.
The Myth of the Genius Programmer (Google I/O 2009):
Conference call bingo (September 19, 2017)
Found via Amy Wilson: