The little foxes

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes”

Someone rightly said “We employ for competence, we fire for attitude”. As simple as this statement is, it underlines the fact that competence can start a race but lacks the assurance of a proper finish.

This write up is aimed at programmers. As much as they are a lot of programmers out there with basic and advanced understanding on this topic, there is still a fraction without this understanding. This article is aimed at putting them on the right track and ensuring that we reduce the level incompetency in the tech industry.

Lets talk about the “little foxes” that impacts negatively on the lives of programmers. I might not be able to talk write about all of them, but to the best of my knowledge and experience, these are the few I can find around me:

Consistency: A lot of persons find programming as a cool art, they possess great potentials, and aspire just like most of us, but unfortunately they lack the virtue of consistency, they somehow are involved in a lot of activities which devour a good part of their programming life and soon they find themselves wandering in the dark paths, their learning speed decreases whilst technologies increases geometrically, they loose track of emerging technology and soon it becomes a cycle of mediocrity.

On the other hand, there are others who lack the staying power, they are easily carried away by the changing trend. They keep skipping from one programming language to the other. They lack the ability to fully master a programming language before moving to another. They have an idea on all but know next to nothing on any.

Integrity: Coming from my angle, working as a lead developer, integrity has always been an important quality to look out for when integrating developers. A honest programmer is a great tool to any company. Its important that programmers build up a honest lifestyle. The ability of a developer to be trust-worthy, keep to his/her words and be dependable is important to both inter-personal relationship and the company he/she works for. I’ve heard stories of programmers compromising data and running way with huge sum of money. In the tech industry the idea of trust cannot be over emphasized, and this underscores the need for programmers to possess the integrity quality.

Maturity: Maturity here refers to both mentally and programming-wise. Immature developers lack the ability to work in a team, understand their role as a developer and respect the role of the lead developer. They always tend to shift blames and lack the courage to take responsibility and fix issues. A programmer may be richly skilled but lack common sense. He/she may be well articulated with the art of programming, but a proper look into the programmers life shows a lot of misplaced priorities and hasty activities. Programmers needs to grow both in skills and in character. Maturity in a programmer reflects in both externally (relationship with other developers) and internally (Problem-solving mentality, thinking, pattern of coding).

In summary, it is important for developers including myself not to only focus on building our skills, but also invest in character development. There are a lot of poor activities in the tech industry and we can reduce it by working on our character. A lot of programmers are too proud to listen to their superiors, they believe so much in their skills that they tend to forget that success is combination of both charisma and character.

I may not be able to write on other attitudinal structures needed for programmers today in this story, but as this is my first story, I believe that I will be able to shed some light on them in another article.