Software developers — please stop moaning

I’m sure we’ve all done it, and we’ve probably all heard other developers do it too. Complaining and criticising about someone else’s code.

- “It’s the worst code I’ve ever seen”
- “This guy’s code totally sucks”
- “The guy who wrote this mess should hang his head in shame”

Sound familiar? On practically every forum where developers can hang out you’ll hear them complaining and criticising other people’s work. It seems to be endemic to the industry so prevalent and ubiquitous is this behaviour.

Imagine if other professions did this. Electricians, plumbers, mechanics. Imagine if you took your car in for a service, and every time you did, the mechanic complained and criticised the work of the previous mechanic.

And yet this is exactly what every software developer does.

Let’s turn back the tide, and change this negative behaviour and accept my challenge. For one week, do NOT complain or criticise anyone’s work. Try to find something good to say about all the work that you come across. No matter how bad the work may be, find something positive to say about it.

- “The code may not have scaled very well but it was easy for figure out what it was doing”
- “At least the code at fault was consistent with the rest of the code-base”
- “The error logging was pretty good”

Get the idea? For one full week remember. Let me know how you get on.

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A father, cyclist, vegetarian, atheist, geek and multiple award winning technical author. Loves real ale, fine wine and good music. All round decent chap.

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