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Becoming a Better Programmer by Pete Goodliffe

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Chapter 34. People Power

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.

Albert Einstein

Programming is a people pursuit.

Almost since the first programs were constructed we have realised that programming is not a solely technical challenge. It is also a social challenge. Software development is a pastime that involves writing code with other people, for other people to understand. It means working with other people’s code, joining and leaving software teams, working under your boss’ supervision, managing developers (which is rather like herding cats), and so on.

Many of the most enduring programming tomes are devoted to the people problem, for example, The Mythical Man Month[37] and Peopleware.[38]

Just as the people working with a codebase will inevitably shape the code they produce, the people who work with you will inevitably shape you.

KEY

Purposefully place yourself beside excellent programmers.

That is, if you want to be an exceptional programmer, then you must consciously place yourself daily amongst people who are exceptional programmers. It’s a really simple but profound way to make sure that you improve your skills and attitudes.

We are products of our environment, after all. Just as plants need good soil, fertiliser, and the correct atmosphere to grow healthily, so do we.

Spending too long with depressing people will make you feel depressed. Spending too long with run-down people will make you feel tired and lethargic. Spending ...

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