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Lose in the short run to learn for the long run

farque65 profile image Fahim ・2 min read

As developers in the workforce, we have deadlines, development practices, and existing company solutions. Our performance dictates our compensation and career progress. This need to meet our expected targets often comes at the cost of growth as developers. We often overlook the unexpected need to look deeper into a problem because we might miss a deadline or overdevelop a solution. These failures seem grand in the short run. However, from these failures, we improve our development abilities and grow as problem-solvers in the long run. I have often failed to meet deadlines starting out because I looked deeper into problems or I couldn't solve the problem. Solutions that were readily available to me seemed to do the job but were not always scalable or dynamic. I tested myself and I pursued better solutions with the encouragement of my colleagues and superiors. I cannot say I always found the optimal solution but I was given an environment to fail and try different solutions.

Companies know that when they hire a new developer they will have to bear the cost of slow or inefficient software development in the beginning. After working on one or two projects the developer becomes proficient and the company reaps their investment by gaining a faster problem solver that can implement existing solutions over and over. However, something else happens when this developer is given the chance to fail to seek a better solution and grow. They become better problem solvers and superior critical thinkers. If a paradigm shift happens in one developer's problem-solving ability other developers on the team should question and tear apart the new ideas in peer reviews. The programming meritocracy will accept the better solution and the growth from the prevailing ideas will proliferate.

This is a note to those new developers facing imposter syndrome and developers in a time crunch on deadlines. Do not compromise your solution implementation to win in the short term and look deeper into the problem. Reach for your colleagues, explore unexpected implementations, and read more documentation. The short term losses lead to long term learning experiences. The compounding of knowledge from these learning experiences cannot be understated. Before you know it you are contributing to a more scalable and dynamic development mindset in your team and company.

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