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Aladin Ben Sassi
Aladin Ben Sassi

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No-no’s of software engineering

In a stressful and deadline-bound job like software engineering, the no-no’s are way more than the yes-yes’s.

Clients or managers, who despite their lack of knowledge in your work, feel obliged to give you their opinion on technical details and best practices. That’s like me walking into a doctor’s office in the middle of surgery and suggesting that maybe his patient doesn’t need a new heart, what he really needs is love.

Pseudo “rock-star” employees. The typical overachievers who got too much praise growing up, and now feel that they’re too good to follow instructions because they wrote an app that finds the best ice-cream flavor to match your personality based on what you’re wearing that day, or something useless like that when they were in college. What they don’t understand, however, is that no matter how smart you are, you’re never too smart to hear the advice of an experienced developer and to follow it, and that a false sense of grandeur sets you up for a lifetime of disappointment.

People who think they’re holier-than-thou because they work as developers. The community has been getting very toxic lately with people who assume that they’re smarter/better/wiser just because they learned how to put together lines of code. You can see this all over Quora, or Hacker News, or Reddit, or any other place frequented by these delusional individuals. Armed with their keyboards, and energized by their Red Bulls and espressos, they roam the internet letting people know how superior their way of life is, how their ideas will change the world, and how being anything other than a developer makes you a plebian. I stopped answering questions on Quora for over a year because it got too much to handle; most of the questions were like this: “Why aren’t more people software developers?” or “How can I learn web development, to join the master race?” Your job doesn’t make you smarter or more special than other people.

I can’t help but wonder if this would have been more light-hearted had I been in a better mood. Food for thought.

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