Monday, May 2, 2011

The Passionate Programmer

Recently I've been reading The Passionate Programmer by Chad Fowler. It's been a fast and entertaining read so far, and borrows a lot from Peopleware. It has a really interesting emphasis on personal and career development, rather than how to complete a project or task successfully.

One point he drives is to really focus on your business value as a programmer. This means really being aware of how much you cost and how much value you produce. As a technical professional who loves what they do, it is really easy to become preoccupied with technical details and problems. However, this doesn't necessarily contribute to the bottom like or to the customer's/manager's perception of that contribution.

Along with this is a call against technical elitism and specialization. "I'm only X and Y expert and it's not my job to handle Z" doesn't help you do your job, which is to solve those problems if they need to be solved. I feel like this extends not only to different technical areas but also to non-technical areas like responding to customers or understanding your business's finance.

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