Software developers are one of a kind. They are the most celebrated crowd in every organization. Other teams look at them as if they have landed from an alien land. Questions like “How can you stare at a computer forever?”, “How do you understand all those jargons?”, and “How do you make it all work?” supports this argument.
Trust me, we are just human beings, with curiosity to talk with computers. Just like how a polyglot learn different languages, we learn a language that computers understand. The constant treatment of looking at us as an alien figure has fed our ego enough to imagine that superior to others. Starting from that, there are million other deficiencies a developer has in his life. Here are a few.
Code is Everything
When you start out as an entry-level engineer, everything is code. That awesome product manager would have done all the UX and will explain to you the experience and emotions an user would go through as they use the product. But you would have already killed the enthusiasm by asking that one question, about an, if condition.
It is tough for a developer to break this shell at initial stages. We don’t realize it until someone explicitly points it out to us or the ‘gyan’ pops up later in our life.
The same philosophy applies even when we are in the process of developing something or post-deployment. A significant part of a developer’s job might be writing code but documenting every piece of decision that involved in the process is more important.
Lack of empathy
Empathy is another attribute that is a side-effect of thinking too much about code. Since we are in the constant process of talking to our computers and tweaking products, we have very less time to socialize with human beings. Slowly most of us lose human contact thereby lacking the power to empathize with others. Again this might be OK if you’re in a junior position.
A link is not a solution
As developers, our life would be nothing without StackOverflow or Google. For every snippet of code that we write we would have gone through a million internet suggestion and chose the best of it.
If you ever look at two developers chatting you can see that there are exchanges of these links. The other developers know how to decode and get what he wants out of it.
But in real life scenario that’s not the case. I have seen intercom chats motivating customers to do better. Praising them when they catch it up right away, demo videos explaining every bit and piece of the product. Helping people is not just sharing links. When a non-techie asks you a question, remember the days when you got frustrated and never understood anything from StackOverflow. It is time that we realize that even StackOverflow and Google has a learning curve.
The moment I say this word all developers will jump right in and say “Yeah I know that problem.” “Timezone.” The point is that as developers we are well versed in developing products that work across regions at different continents at different time zones.
But that does not apply for real-life problems. After knowing/learning dimensions of issues around feminism, I came to know that you can’t just write one application and solve it. Problems like that need very customized solutions depending on place or person
Thinking that we smart
During my first Chennaipy meetup I met an astrophysicist who explained her work and wanted some developers to work with her to perform some analysis of data. Her work was amazing. She looks at death stars and analyzes its properties. It involves setting up camps at night etc., one of the fascinating things was they do not use mobile phones while operating high range telescopes because it causes noise in their data which is very reasonable but the exciting thing is tube lights creates the same effect hence the whole observation ground has no tube lights…. Yes, we don’t know everything.
It might be the industry or the passion factor; developers are often frowned upon when they talk about work-life balance. Their passion is questioned. Taking a more in-depth look at this phenomena, I see college students spending all their time, working their ass off to create cool stuff, for fun. But the professional world does not need that. Industry software is not that one cool game you could create by spending two days and night. Trying to do that on entering a corporate setup is going to drain your energy.
These kids on becoming CTO of their new startup expect their employees to spend their days and nights for work just like they did at college, ending up scaring off or firing their employees.
Let’s be honest, we are unique beings, we love to code all the time but that should not be standard we should set for ourselves. There are a lot of other domains and things which we are not aware of. Spending time to understand those domains would widen our horizon of thinking.
Bhavani Ravi | Techie By Profession | Everything else by passion.
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