There are a few rules that every developer should respect, and never break. Doctors, lawyers, and judges have their oaths, but as developers, who have no such thing, we should at least have a code of ethics that bind us.
So I decided to take the initiative, and write, what in my opinion should be the ten commandments, for software developers:
- Thou shalt not lie: Whether you’re over-promising, faking knowledge in a technology you have no idea about, or straight out lying about your ability to accomplish a task, lying will not only hurt your client, but it will also hurt your reputation. And I don’t know about you, but I value my reputation over a one-time payment.
- Thou shalt not steal: Stealing doesn’t only come in the form of stealing money, but it can be anything from keeping backdoors on projects you coded without the knowledge of your client, to poaching clients from your agency or colleagues.
- Thou shalt not be indifferent: Indifference is a curse that destroys a person’s ability to create, and in consequence, work will slow down and the output will be mediocre at best.
- Thou shalt not knowingly hurt a client: Clients are people who count on us to bring our A-game every day and trust us to have their best interest in mind. Therefore, we should strive to earn that trust and grow it into mutual respect.
- Thou shalt not hurt a colleague: Colleagues are also people who we should not harm knowingly for any reason. As developers, we built a community that’s helpful and welcoming, just like a big family. And a family takes care of its own.
- Honor thy mentor and tutor: People who taught us our craft, are people we should forever be grateful to. They not only took time from their day to offer us everything they learned in bite-sized pieces of information so that our young brains can digest them, but they also saw something in us that they decided was worth the time they invested.
- Thou shalt not overcharge: Developers like in any other career, have the good and the bad, and sometimes these bad developers, would overcharge clients, just because they don’t know any better, and that’s worse than stealing, it’s taking advantage of someone who lacks the knowledge and making a fool out of them. Imagine if a doctor overcharged your grandmother, how would that make you feel?
- Thou shalt strike a balance: We all know how important work can become for us, but we all need to take time for ourselves and get away from the stress of every day. A work/life balance is something we should all work toward.
- Thou shalt not deliver unfinished work: As developers, we know when a product we built is barely functional, and although it seems good enough from outside, inside is a different story. Never deliver that sort of project, until you make sure it’s perfect in your eyes.
- Thou shall spread knowledge: Spread knowledge everywhere and every way you can, open your mind, your source code, and your arms to every young developer, and colleague in need.
That’s it for the ten commandments, now go forth and conquer my children.