The Lousy Developer

I’m not sure if there are any real metrics to judge the quality of software developers thus no one knows how good they really are. The thing that comes closest to rating a software developer is the feedback from their peers – what do they think about their programming abilities? Generally software organizations don’t invest in a 360 degree feedback thus most of us are always clueless about how good we really are.

There is a lot of literature on how to become a better or great developer but there is hardly anything out there to identify a lousy developer. This is an attempt to share some of the top-notch qualities of a lousy developer. Well, think of it as an “Good Developer Anti-Pattern”.

Writes code that only machine can understand. The lousy developers take great pride in writing complex code. There would be no separation of concerns, everything would be one giant ball of spaghetti code, the methods would as long as the Great Wall of China, the variable names would be unintuitive as if an obfuscator had named them.

Never keeps the team informed about milestones. Who gives a shyte!? I ain’t telling nobody about the daily progress. Yes, you would hardly get to know what they are working on until you prod them. Asking status from them becomes such a chore that you shudder at the very thought of it.

Needs to be Micro Managed. They need constant baby sitting from their team mates or their manager about tasks they are working on. They just can’t work independently. Period. You give them their own space and you know things would never get done on time. They would constantly forget their tasks or would deliver code in a haste without giving too much thought to it. To them, bugs or unfinished tasks are the hallmark of a working developer. Yeah, right!

Not a Team Player. Their world is finite and they are at the center of their own little universe. They won’t acknowledge the skills of other team members and think they are the best thing after sliced bread.

Blame Game. Somehow it is never their fault when things go wrong. It’s like the word sorry is not in their vernacular. They always have something or someone to blame when things go wrong rather than admitting to the mistake.

Wastes too much time. Most of them are always busy doing other important things than programming like chatting with their friends, spending time on facebook etc. I just don’t get it. Why would anyone spend killing their office hours than being productive or learning new technologies/reading technical blogs.

The thing is that it only takes a mental switch to turn off these nasty habits and adopt more productive ones provided one is willing to make oneself better.

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