Good Builders Code. Nice Builders Do Way more.


Kumusta! Which means “howdy” in Tagalog, one in all 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 huge enterprises. I’ve labored in industries together with larger schooling, healthcare, e-commerce, and finance. Most significantly, I’ve labored with plenty of totally different builders. The best builders that I loved working with probably the most, and people I realized from probably 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 rules in my profession:

Documentation is our good friend

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

We hear concerning the deserves of documentation on a regular basis. We all know we’d like it, are pissed off when it’s unhealthy 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 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 all the time useful. 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 essential element in a operate. 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 activity that turns into an asset, relatively than a “good to have” however annoying chore, I knew I had progressed in my profession.

Code critiques the good manner

One other key a part of software program growth is the code evaluate. As we proceed to make adjustments to our codebase, the code evaluate affords a manner to ensure we don’t break manufacturing! That is normally completed by our friends; fellow software program builders comb by way of our code to ensure there aren’t any evident (or hidden) errors.

Sadly, this course of generally turns into a battleground of egos. You might have skilled this your self: you’ve opened a pull request to be reviewed and returned to search out nitpicks or issues primarily based on desire. 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 evaluate — the kind 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 evaluate.
Picture by Birmingham Museums Belief on Unsplash

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

With a couple of fundamental guidelines that your complete software program growth workforce agreed upon, code critiques might give attention to 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 guideline 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 continuously studying, continuously rising, and continuously on the lookout for 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 in terms of extra advanced or very dry technical content material; the extra inventive the examples, the higher.

Take into consideration this instance: would you relatively study sturdy operate patterns by way of a number of dense technical paragraphs and complex diagrams? Or would you relatively study that very same data through analogies to creating lumpia (full with visible aids)? The latter will surely 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 difficult diagrams discernable! If I began the opposite manner round, I’m extra prone to get misplaced, pissed off, and quit studying about sturdy operate 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 guideline to coronary heart. I all the time attempt to creatively train 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 rules let you know extra about who I’m as a developer and what I hope to carry to Cisco’s DevNet workforce. I’m wanting ahead to sharing way more with you, at conferences and occasions, in new movies and in weblog posts I’ve but to write down.

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

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

 


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