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Why Do Developers Argue Over Trivial Things?

peterdavidcarter profile image Peter David Carter ・1 min read

Seems to me there are a few reasons for this.

The first is that sometimes seemingly trivial things really do matter.

The second is that some devs lack empathy and can't understand other's preferences.

Following on from these, to non-techies the one can look very much like the other.

Bad devs will often argue personal points on genuine trivia because it makes things nicer for them personally, and since there are likely few real world consequences they don't have to worry about being wrong. Or they just can't tell the difference between important and not anymore having found the things they previously didn't care about actually did affect the project...

Good and great devs will often still argue trivia for the reason outlined: non-techies and bad devs often can't tell the difference, and being seen to be knowledgeable in general can establish them in a position where they can improve the project as a whole, rather than deferring to bad or mediocre devs who would create an inferior product.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

not necessary those are not experienced or bad people with lack of empathy. There is third explanation: bikeshedding. From wikipedia:

Parkinson's law of triviality is C. Northcote Parkinson's 1957 argument that members of an organization give disproportionate weight to trivial issues.[1] Parkinson provides the example of a fictional committee whose job was to approve the plans for a nuclear power plant spending the majority of its time on discussions about relatively minor but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike shed, while neglecting the proposed design of the plant itself, which is far more important and a far more difficult and complex task.

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peterdavidcarter profile image
Info Comment marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. View code of conduct
Peter David Carter Author

Yeah I get that but your point overlaps with mine. Bikeshedding usually occurs when people don't understand the big picture, just like how most of your post is a copy-pasta of something you don't understand from a website that approximates what someone with a 100 IQ should think, even though most people are cleverer than that. You're not refuting what I'm saying, you're just repeating it and pretenting it's an alternative view. No offense. I'm not directly calling you an idiot.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

(I'm talking about law of triviality) They do understand the big picture, that is why they hesitate to resolve it, because it is big and complex decision.

Maybe this is not the same as arguments in twitter or in github comments over semicolons. In this case we also need to take into account poorness of media (text messages).

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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

You're just parroting an idea without really understanding what it means. It's great you got my post reported and hidden and all, but isn't that actually censorship? There was literally nothing offensive in that post you had removed.

As far as I can tell, you had my response removed because it disagreed with someone in your charmed circle, and that can't be allowed.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

I don't report people if I can argue with them. If I would report somebody I would not even bother to respond.

The post is got hidden because some of moderators consider this a violation of CoC.

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
  • Being respectful of differing viewpoints and experiences
  • Gracefully accepting constructive criticism
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peterdavidcarter profile image
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Peter David Carter Author

So you just report people who post things you don't understand. Gotcha. And no, they don't, they're just wussing out because you decided to report it, like many SJWs who don't want to debate an issue.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

I see you don't learn on your errors. Now I reported you

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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

My error was not bowing to your authority, obviously.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

Your error is insulting people. Right after I pointed out this you did it again.

Examples of behavior that contributes to creating a positive environment include:

  • Using welcoming and inclusive language
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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

Sorry if you found the truth insulting, but programming is about logic. You can't erase your own fault.

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stereobooster profile image
stereobooster

Seriously? You are using ad hominem and you insist on logic?

ad hominem
You attacked your opponent's character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.

-- yourlogicalfallacyis

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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

Wtf. Why are you using nonsense to attack me?

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michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Let's stop this here.

I honestly don't think that @stereobooster meant to attack you or refute what you said. I think they were looking to add another perspective in a constructive way.

The comments that were marked as unconstructive were marked appropriately.

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elmuerte profile image
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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

I disagree 😏

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tobiassn profile image
Tobias SN

I think it’s just human nature to defend what one believes is right and attack what one believes is wrong.

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peterdavidcarter profile image
Peter David Carter Author

Four space tabbing is preferable to two space tabbing πŸ€‘πŸ‘Ή