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Since my adventure into the world of Ubuntu recently I have been doing a lot of research into the benefits of the operating system for web designers and developers. Whilst doing this I stumbled upon an interesting article, albeit quite old now, which claimed to outline 10 signs that you are ruining your career as a web developer. I looked at this and thought some of the points were complete tosh! I claim to be a pretty good developer (my head is massive, I know) so I thought I’d compare this to my experiences.
1. You believe in asshole driven development
I don’t really agree with this point. In my experience working within a team of developers is that everyone has an opinion on how something should work. Although I have been quite fortunate in that we all are on the same page so pretty much come up with the same ideas, there have been times where we all thought differently. For me this is a good thing because it shows the different options and as a team you should be able to decide between yourselves which is best not only short-term but for the future as well. I would never claim “my way” is better just because it was my idea. That kind of ego should not be present within a team but if it is then it seriously needs addressing.
2. You are a ‘jerk’ who is thinking that they are more suitable for the lead developer role rather than their current one
I can safely say that I do not fit with this point. Although it is always nice to be the leader or manager of a particular project/team I would never assume I am a better developer than someone else, especially if they actually have a lot more experience than me. Taking on roles like these bring added responsibility and pressures which sometimes its nice not to have.
3. You cannot find any topic to study this evening
I partially agree with this statement. A good web developer should always have extra avenues that they want to explore and the sheer size of the field that a developer has to play with makes the possibilities endless. There are always new technologies and several ways to improve knowledge. If learning new things is something which you enjoy (I know I do) then you are always going to be more suited to a role than somebody who has decided to stick to what they know. Eventually (probably sooner rather than later in this fast moving market) their knowledge will become outdated making them less employable.
On the other hand I don’t think that good web developers should study every evening. It’s always nice to have a social life and I feel that will benefit you more as a person rather than being a total nerd.
I don’t really need to say if this fits with my lifestyle because I am currently writing about an article that I just stumbled upon, which suggests I was looking for something new to learn! :) I wouldn’t do this every evening though as there are times (a lot of them!) that I just like to get drunk!
4. You are so busy in development that your last blog post was 2 or 3 months ago
Clearly this doesn’t fit with me as I am currently blogging and have been trying to keep up with at least 1 blog post either every day or every couple of days. I do find it difficult to keep up with this kind of schedule but this is not down to too much development, it’s more that I’m busy just doing other stuff. I agree that continual blogging is an advantage to you though as you tend to write about new and exciting ideas or just improving your SEO ranking (like me :D).
5. You haven’t contributed to a single open source project yet
Contributing to open source is a fantastic experience for any web developer, something which I haven’t yet done so I can’t really comment. It hasn’t exactly been top of my list though so maybe that does make me a bad developer.
6. You are spending time to write a 7 page resume
I’m not sure if this is relevant to how good/bad a web developer you are but more as to how big your ego is. I don’t see the point in a huge resume though because agenencies and potential employers hate long CVs. Keep it short and sweet and feed them the information that they want to hear. That has always worked wonders for me and many other developers that I know.
7. You aren’t using any RSS aggregators
Again I feel this is more relevant to how a person uses the web as opposed to how good or bad they are at their job. I have used aggregators in the past but it isn’t something I constantly use. I use other resources such as Twitter to find interesting articles or TutEngine.com, which is technically a website built from RSS aggregators.
8. You have never used a framework
Now this is a point that I completely agree with. Frameworks such as jQuery and Zend are excellent resources which almost all new developers are using (in this field). They provide a ‘working’ solution which decreases the developer’s coding time. I have used multiple frameworks in my experience as a web developer and although it’s always nice to write my own code, I will always rely on them.
9. You’re neither a member or active on a tech forum
Totally disagree. This yet again fits with the developer’s learning and communication style which isn’t the route I would go down. It is good to talk to other developers from around the world to gain new insights into coding and technologies but it isn’t something I would consider a factor as to how bad of a developer you are. There are many different forms of learning such as technology events, social media and general internet searching. Although I tend to land on many tech blogs/forums through searching I can’t recall signing up to one yet – I’m definately not active on any!
10. WAMP is still the development platform for your LAMP app
I assume you know what this is, if not you definately are a bad developer!
If developing a LAMP application then of course a LAMP server is much more suited simply because it is the same enviroment as the production model. Coding a Linux based project on a Windows testing server is just silly because once live there are bound to be problems. If however the production server was Windows then it would make sense to also build on a Windows testing server.
This isn’t really a sign that you are ruining your career as a developer though, it’s more common sense.
I think in total I only fit with one or maybe two of those 10 points. In Hasin’s case (the author of the original article) that would make me a good developer, right? I could write a list of around 50 points which are more suited and maybe one day I will do this but ideally the developer should know their own strengths anyway and their success in their career will follow.
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