My Development Philosophy take one

by May 31, 2008 12:59 AM

Recently I had a discussion with a colleague at work about a way to speak to future developers that join or take over our projects. The idea was that we could simply add a "developer's note" to the solution items so it would live with the rest of the code in source control. I personally couldn't think of a better place for a piece of documentation like this.

After our discussion he spent some time and mocked up a sample developer's note and sent it my way. The idea was that I would customize it to suit me because we came to the conclusion that these developer notes should be a bit personal and should come from the lead developer of the project in question and I happen to be the lead developer on this specific project. All good so far, but in the mock up he include a brief introduction that initially stated his (or a made up) personal development philosophy. Excellent idea I thought. As I started to write my personal philosophy I realized that I didn't have one! I kept writing different things I thought were good ideas only to delete them after thinking that they were just good ideas but didn't really make a very good philosophy. It dawned on me that I have never really sat down to define for myself what I truly believe is a good developer or what makes a good developer or what makes for a good development philosophy. I didn't have a personal mission statement, if you will.

So the research and soul searching began... and this is what I found and the conclusion I came to.

First, some nuggets I found while doing a bit of googling:
Hallmarks of a great developer
Why I’m a better software developer than you
Why Good Programmers Are Lazy and Dumb
How To Become a Better Programmer by Not Programming
Skill Disparities in Programming

The last two are especially good ones. Well, everything from Coding Horror is awesome in my opinion!

Now then, where does all of this leave me? After reading those articles and many others, and after doing a ton of plain old soul searching, I think this should do it:

My personal development philosophy is simple: strive to accomplish the task at hand as well as you can given your current skill set and always strive to improve your skill set.

Now that I look at it, it seems more like a personal philosophy towards life rather than specifically a development philosophy. It also isn't a statement that would help a developer understand the code-base s/he was about to dive into. I guess I'll keep pondering and researching...

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