Good Builders Code. Nice Builders Do Rather more.



Kumusta! Meaning “hey” in Tagalog, considered one of 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 a couple of issues. I’ve labored at small startups, and medium and enormous enterprises. I’ve labored in industries together with greater training, healthcare, e-commerce, and finance. Most significantly, I’ve labored with a whole lot of totally different builders. The simplest builders that I loved working with essentially the most, and people I realized from essentially the most, had a couple of issues in widespread. 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.
Picture by Birmingham Museums Belief on Unsplash

We hear in regards to the deserves of documentation on a regular basis. We all know we’d like it, are annoyed when it’s dangerous or non-existent, are grateful when it’s good, and but not often 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 completely the primary measure that units nice builders aside. Documentation is essential to writing nice software program and being disciplined sufficient to do it’s at all times useful. Adrienne Moherek has a nice, 5-minute lightning speak 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 principle cause is as a result of they’re constant in documenting their code! As soon as I began to see documentation as a required activity that turns into an asset, moderately than a “good to have” however annoying chore, I knew I had progressed in my profession.

Code critiques the great method

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

Sadly, this course of typically 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 based mostly on choice. Or overly vital feedback that won’t present consciousness of the total context of what you had been engaged on. Nonetheless different feedback give unsolicited strategies with none reasoning behind them. This sort 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.
Picture by Birmingham Museums Belief on Unsplash

I used to imagine all code critiques had been this fashion; that the method was alleged to be uncomfortable. It was solely midway via my profession that I met a developer who fully modified that viewpoint. Code critiques will be executed in a way more environment friendly and thoughtful method!

With a couple of primary guidelines that your entire software program improvement workforce agreed upon, code critiques may concentrate on the code and never the individual writing or reviewing it. In a nutshell, nice builders encourage goal, automated, and thoughtful code critiques!

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 different kinds of tech change. This implies we’re always studying, always rising, and always on the lookout for good studying sources.

What’s a superb 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 fingers within the code, and using enjoyable or humorous examples. Particularly with regards to extra advanced or very dry technical content material; the extra artistic the examples, the higher.

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

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

As somebody that now creates all types of studying sources for different builders, I take this tenet to coronary heart. I at all times attempt to creatively train one thing and distill it into the basics. There’ll at all times 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 inform you extra about who I’m as a developer and what I hope to convey to Cisco’s DevNet workforce. 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 to test out the progress my new Cisco teammates are making on some nice API instruments: 


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