Posted by: lrrp | July 6, 2015

What can I do to stand out as a programmer?

Focus relentlessly on what you can do to make the other members of your team more successful.If there’s a bug, assume it’s your code.  If a less experienced member of your team has a question, answer the question and do so in such a way that doesn’t damage their confidence and instills trust that they can ask you more questions.  Take care of your own responsibilities but be on the lookout for potential problems that aren’t necessarily in your wheelhouse, then work to make sure those problems don’t occur.  Deflect praise to your team.  Take criticism like a professional.

Being a 10x programmer that nobody wants to work with limits your effectiveness to what you alone can do.  A humble programmer who elevates a team of 4x programmers to 7x programmers will be seen as someone who is irreplaceable.

If you are the strongest developer in your company, make the other developer’s jobs easier. Do this by:

  • Providing tools and libraries that make them more productive.
  • Implement a proper architecture that can be well maintained and extended – include the team on these decisions – they     have to work with the design too.
  • Thoughtfully answer your teams questions.
  • Do constructive code reviews.
  • Have a solid testing system in place and insist on high coverage.
  • Provide a proper Agile environment and handle some of the administrative tasks so that the system does not get in their way.
  • Don’t take all of the cool tasks for yourself
  • Promote your team’s accomplishments to the company, and get ahead of the mistakes

If you are the weakest developer in your company, make the other developer’s jobs easier. Do this by:

  • Work harder than everyone else  – you generally want to work smarter, but if other developers are already doing that, you need to fill in some gaps.
  •  Write documentation – in addition to the obvious need, it will help you learn the code base.
  • Pick up the tasks that nobody wants to do  – you will be showered with appreciation.
  • Ask good questions.
  • Learn what a good question is.
  • Have boiled-down, simple test cases ready to demonstrate your question – this process usually answers your own question.

Other Important Points

  • Stay focused, try to do things on your own and seek help when you really need it.
  • Build sample applications on your own.For all your issues you encounter.
  • Always follow good coding practices naming conventions even in the sample code blocks you write.This will burn these good practices in to your work practices.
  • Make something really awesome that other programmers will want to use.
  • Find some open source projects you can contribute to relentlessly.
  • You would always stand out if you know the underlying business of your application.
  • Make many public repositories in Git-hub with beautifully formatted code with unit test like TDD and a solid documentation file for the code.

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