Developers Make Steady Progress by Avoiding Stupidity

Making fewer mistakes is more effective than writing great code

Ben "The Hosk" Hosking


Photo by Sarah Kilian on Unsplash

Developers don’t need to be super clever, they need to avoid being stupid and making dumb mistakes.

It doesn’t take much to avoid being wrong, spend a little time thinking about what could go wrong and what you want to avoid.

Many developers learn by making mistakes and avoiding making them in the future. Good developers identify potential mistakes upfront and avoid making them at all.

You can’t avoid all mistakes, problems and technical issues but you can make sure they don’t hurt you too badly and recover quickly. Technical Disasters Should Not Catch Developers Unprepared

This post was inspired by the Sam Hinkie’s resignation letter, which everyone would benefit from reading

Be Less wrong

“You should take the approach that you’re wrong. Your goal is to be less wrong.” Elon Musk

If you can make steady progress every day as a developer, then everyone feels like they are moving towards the goal of creating software.

Pain comes when plans go, problems erupt, and they herd everyone into an emergency meeting.

When developers make steady progress, it gains trust and people leave them alone to create software in peace.

Charlie Munger recommends inverting tasks. Before you work out the next best action, first understand what you should avoid.

Ask yourself

What's the worse thing that could happen? What's the worst action to take?

If you can avoid the worst problems, then the choices left will move you forward and you can make steady progress.

Murphy's law says what can go wrong will go wrong. What fools many developers is it doesn’t go wrong for a long time and then boom. Look at all the technical components, software, integrations and anything else there is a dependency and ask.

How could this F&*k me?



Ben "The Hosk" Hosking

Technology philosopher | Software dev → Solution architect | Avid reader | Life long learner