censored laptop

Rockstar with a cardboard on the screen

We, software engineers, tend to be protective of our work.
We get anxious about showing our code.
Unfortunately, the wall we build around “our” code is a perfect formula for a disaster.
Luckily, doing the things that scare us more often makes them less scary.

No comments

Today my friend told me about a rockstar team that once worked at his company. People looked up to them as they were the best programmers, you know, the real stars. And whenever you’ve seen them you spotted the cardboards over their screens to prevent anyone else from seeing their code. After some time of that kind of work, the project went awry and people decided that too many rockstars on a team is a perfect way to complete destruction.

However, I wouldn’t blame the water for being wet. We, software engineers, tend to be protective of our work (it is, after all, creative act that took energy and effort). We get anxious about showing our code. And it may get even harder for a rockstar that can be afraid of being “found out” as not being as smart or talented or deserving or experienced or (fill-in-the-blank) as people think is a common phenomenon. On the other hand, if you are working with super competent, experienced people who have been working on this problem and code base for years you may feel like a bumbling amateur. (You should know better but there’s not helping it).

Unfortunately, the wall you build around “your” code is a perfect formula for a disaster.

Luckily, doing the things that scare you more often makes them less scary. Moreover, working on the same code base opens up lines of communication that previously might not have existed. And even though it takes the time to build trust, a team that is confident enough to share its code with each other will quickly rise to that level.

After all, we strive to meet client expectations by producing code that does what it is supposed to, but, at the same time, we want to make room for future changes in a sustainable way.

That’s why rather than recluse on a team and prevent your colleagues from looking into your code, it is far better to work with each other as much as you can. Nobody knows everything about software development so this way your code gets cleaner and you learn and grow as developers and as a team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s