Good Builders Code. Nice Builders Do Far more.


Kumusta! Which means “hiya” in Tagalog, one among my native languages. I’m proud to say it to you as Cisco DevNet’s latest Senior Developer Advocate!

I’ve been a software program developer for a decade, and I’ve seen just a few issues. I’ve labored at small startups, and medium and enormous enterprises. I’ve labored in industries together with increased schooling, healthcare, e-commerce, and finance. Most significantly, I’ve labored with a whole lot of completely different builders. The simplest builders that I loved working with essentially the most, and people I realized from essentially the most, had just a few issues in frequent. These are the issues that made these builders stand out, and which proceed to be guiding ideas in my profession:

Documentation is our pal

Developer regrets not documenting that perform they wrote six months in the past.
Photograph by Birmingham Museums Belief on Unsplash

We hear concerning the deserves of documentation on a regular basis. We all know we want it, are pissed off when it’s dangerous or non-existent, are grateful when it’s good, and but hardly ever write it ourselves. Whether or not that’s as a result of self-deception that our code is “self-documenting” or that we don’t have the time, documentation is totally the primary measure that units nice builders aside. Documentation is essential to writing nice software program and being disciplined sufficient to do it’s all the time helpful. Adrienne Moherek has a nice, 5-minute lightning discuss that discusses this and I encourage you to test it out.

The best builders I do know can simply reference a workflow or level out an vital element in a perform. Is that this as a result of they’ve impeccable reminiscence? Perhaps, however the primary motive is as a result of they’re constant in documenting their code! As soon as I began to see documentation as a required job that turns into an asset, relatively than a “good to have” however annoying chore, I knew I had progressed in my profession.

Code opinions the great manner

One other key a part of software program growth is the code evaluation. As we proceed to make adjustments to our codebase, the code evaluation provides a manner to ensure we don’t break manufacturing! That is often finished by our friends; fellow software program builders comb via our code to ensure there aren’t any obvious (or hidden) errors.

Sadly, this course of generally turns into a battleground of egos. You could have skilled this your self: you’ve opened a pull request to be reviewed and returned to seek out nitpicks or issues primarily based on choice. Or overly vital feedback that will not present consciousness of the complete context of what you had been engaged on. Nonetheless different feedback give unsolicited ideas with none reasoning behind them. This type of code evaluation — the sort that makes your co-workers tense, really feel unintelligent, and despise the method altogether —  is what nice builders keep away from in any respect prices.

Developer reads the feedback on their final code evaluation.
Photograph by Birmingham Museums Belief on Unsplash

I used to consider all code opinions had been this fashion; that the method was purported to be uncomfortable. It was solely midway via my profession that I met a developer who fully modified that viewpoint. Code opinions may be finished in a way more environment friendly and thoughtful manner!

With just a few primary guidelines that your entire software program growth staff agreed upon, code opinions might concentrate on the code and never the individual writing or reviewing it. In a nutshell, nice builders encourage goal, automated, and thoughtful code opinions!

Humor and enjoyable have a spot in studying

My favourite tenet is that of infusing humor and enjoyable into studying. We’re software program builders; we all know how briskly languages, frameworks, and all other forms of tech change. This implies we’re continuously studying, continuously rising, and continuously in search of good studying sources.

What’s an excellent studying useful resource? One which’s clear, concise, and that successfully teaches the subject being mentioned. For me, meaning content material that’s structured, studying supplies that allow you to get your palms within the code, and the usage of enjoyable or humorous examples. Particularly on the subject of extra complicated or very dry technical content material; the extra artistic the examples, the higher.

Take into consideration this instance: would you relatively study sturdy perform patterns via a number of dense technical paragraphs and sophisticated diagrams? Or would you relatively study that very same data by way of analogies to creating lumpia (full with visible aids)? The latter would definitely hold my consideration longer (which is the toughest a part of studying one thing new). It doubtless additionally helps me grasp the basics of what sturdy capabilities are and the way the patterns work. With the basics understood, these dense technical paragraphs change into extra approachable and people sophisticated diagrams discernable! If I began the opposite manner round, I’m extra more likely to get misplaced, pissed off, and quit studying about sturdy perform patterns altogether.

Entrance-end engineer testing the bounds of CSS. 
Photograph by Europeana on Unsplash

As somebody that now creates every kind of studying sources for different builders, I take this tenet to coronary heart. I all the time attempt to creatively educate one thing and distill it into the basics. There’ll all the time be extra superior sources to proceed studying, however they are going to be of no use if beginning out on a rocky basis. So, if you end up mentoring a junior, explaining one thing to your friends, and even discovering a studying useful resource your self, by no means underestimate the worth of including a little bit of enjoyable into these duties.

I hope these guiding ideas let you know extra about who I’m as a developer and what I hope to deliver to Cisco’s DevNet staff. I’m trying ahead to sharing way more with you, at conferences and occasions, in new movies and in weblog posts I’ve but to write down.

Comply with me on LinkedIn, on Github, my weblog. and provides me a shout on Twitter!

And make sure you examine out the progress my new Cisco teammates are making on some nice API instruments: 


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