I'm gonna go ahead and pile on with another "great article" comment. I've been devving for just about the same amount of time as you and your journey absolutely reflects mine.
I am definitely one of those devs that's very particular about how "clean" the code is, but I try to never make assumptions about why someone went about solving something a particular way - I always ask first for exactly the reasons you said, and often times I do end up getting a very reasonable answer. I think it's ok to be somewhat nitpicky as long as your intentions are to make sure the codebase is more maintainable and consistent for everyone, not just to satisfy one's own ego.
Overall, something that took a while for me to understand is that technical proficiency is NOT a career goal, it is merely one facet among many of being a well-rounded engineer. People ultimately respect a combination of being able to solve problems, being able to communicate your approach, being able to admit when you don't know something or when you made a bad call, and being willing to trust your teammates and work together with them to make the best code/product possible.
Thank you! I'm glad that we are on a similar path! :)
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