Developers Aren’t Machines

Brandon O’Hara
2 min readAug 7, 2020

Every menial task I complete each day has an efficiency score. Every method of unloading groceries from the car to the refrigerator could have been done more strategically. Every workday could have gotten more accomplished.

A common trap I’ve fallen into is basing my work on the efficiency of the process to complete it rather than the end result. Regardless of the creativity or iterations taken to solve complex problems, I’m hyper aware of the effort that led from the problem being presented to the resolution.

Developers aren’t machines, and should stop comparing their self worth to their efficiency.

As developers, we’re taught to not repeat ourselves, work agile, and that we’re only as good as the product that was released that day. If you’re not using the latest standards, you’re leaving yourself open to technical debt. If you choose the wrong framework, no one will ever want to work for your “potential million dollar company.” It’s an endless cycle that leads to burnout and a feeling of low self esteem.

People are allowed to have off days, and to need breaks. Having unfinished items on your daily checklist shouldn’t mean the day was a failure, but that the things you were able to complete provide value and progress. Competitive drive is useless if you aren’t able to ever feel satisfied with your work.

You’re worth more to the company than the lines of code committed to Github.

I don’t have answers, and I’m the first to admit I’m terrible at letting my competitive drive leak into menial every day tasks. But acknowledging the problem can be half the battle.

Honestly, if you have answers I’d love to see how efficiently I could implement your solution.

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Brandon O’Hara
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Montana based web developer specializing in creating web applications in Laravel, VueJS and Angular. Currently overseeing engineering at Trak Software as Chief