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Re: Leaving the "Know-it-all" Paradigm towards a Programmers Mindset

by samizdat (Vicar)
on Nov 08, 2005 at 14:38 UTC ( #506749=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Leaving the "Know-it-all" Paradigm towards a Programmers Mindset

Excellent node, jonix++.

I know that I know very little that matters, but enough to do some good. My first real programming job was with a guy as my team leader who was always prattling about how good he was. There were only two of us on the team, and I had taught myself 8051 assembly language from reading Intel manuals, but had never actually done anything except play (see the SDK pic on my homenode). What quickly became clear was that I was much more talented than he was at programming, even though I had virtually no experience. Very quickly, I was the one who was doing the tricky bits on the most complex machines. {The project was an automated wire harness assembly line.}

Besides having to deal with personality problems caused by his immaturity, I had some of my own. I began to "know" that I was really good at this stuff. By 1988, on another job, I was passionately pushing my product designs and partially caused a companywide breakup that had half of the hardware engineers and three of the four software people leave. Yes, I/we were "right", but a lot of little people lost a lot of ground when most of the company evaporated. It would have run aground eventually, but not as dramatically.

It wasn't until I became a business creator that I began to really appreciate the cost of my at-all-costs hubris, eleven years later. I'd been ruminating about what had happened there and in other situations, but hiring others to work for me and dealing with their egos was a really sobering experience. I'm really fortunate that I didn't hire myself!
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