Be a Geek but not a Freak

November 9, 2006

I’ve had some interesting discussions about the importance of socialization for developers with some really interesting people. Some people really think that being a developer is just about sitting in front of your computer and coding all day long. And I’m not talking about only the hardcore developers. I have talked to Management people, Business men, and some Industrialist as well. Most of them (specially the non-technical people) think this is what a developer is all about.

I think this mindset needs to change for the good of developers themselves. We need to realize that everything does not come on your computer screens. Now I’m not ignoring the importance of time we spend coding, the more time we spend coding, the better we get. But the equation that sums up a good and *effective* developer is not that simple. There are other factors involved as well.

Being a good developer is not only being a good coder, which we all are. I think having an active social life and taking time out to enjoy life contributes towards your success as well. You grow in experience as you meet more people. As you grow in experience, your vision enhances. As your vision enhances, you start seeing things other can’t. When that starts happening your personality matures and so does your work. With the enhanced vision the software you develop will have more life, will be more flexible and more adapt to unseen changes because you have the vision to foresee what others can’t :).

But with all that said, it’s really important to manage your time well. There should be a balance between the time you spend doing the *geek work* and the time you need to socialize and relax. Our mind needs time to relax that’s the natural way it works. Not letting it relax would be like over driving your car. It will only reduce its capabilities and life. Sometimes we need to give our mind a break to use it effectively for doing what we love doing the most *CODE*.

5 Yrs ago

November 2, 2006

Jeff Atwood has an interesting post about taking a look at what you did 5 years ago the comments are really interesting. Reading through them you can clearly see that most of the programmers start of scripting.

Anyway 5 years ago I just started my graduation. I started by programming in C in my first semester. I developed an IDE to mimic Borland’s IDE and I developed an Employee Database system in C (using txt files as the database 🙂 and without any knowledge what so ever about databases). Yea all of that was in first semester :). But the code was as messy as it gets. I used mouse handling and Borland’s Graphics library for creating menus etc. But they were Drawn and re-drawn in the worst possible way :). Perhaps I didn’t know about program structure coz there wasn’t any.

I actually remember writing a ~50 page documentation for it as well which included all sorts of flow charts etc. But that was crappy as well. I think I agree that looking back at your old code is the best way to get scared and perhaps learn from it as well.