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How to argue like a pro dev: wine or espresso

Eric Donovan
Android Developer
・Updated on ・2 min read

potential arguments for choosing wine over espresso, on the left are "not-thinking" things like "wine is best practice" on the right are "thinking" things (which often start with questions) like "what time is it?" or "do you drink alcohol?"

Have you ever been in one of those developer arguments that descends into a fight over who can find the most blog posts to support their points? I certainly had a few of those when I was starting out. And to be fair, when we first start development, other people's opinions are the only thing we've really got to go on.

Sometimes even experienced developers can fall in to the trap of lazily recruiting other people's conclusions to bolster their argument.

Those kinds of discussions are usually not very fruitful. Delegating your thought process to people on the internet who don't know your team's situation or requirements, and may well know less than you anyway, can be pretty risky. It also means you're not really thinking, and in order to learn or discover something, you really have to be thinking!

So next time you find yourself in one of these arguments, see if you can shift the conversation to focus on the Actual Reasons behind the opinion. Best case: you'll be able to get down to a specific code example.

You might need to dig down 2 or 3 levels of why before you get to the truth of the matter - and once you do, you might even discover that the prevailing wisdom is not as wise as you'd think. Hopefully you'll both learn something in any case.

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