In October of 1999, the Pragmatic Programmer was released. It changed an industry by outlining a philosophy of active participation in the creation and maintenance of software. As programming became increasingly complex and specialized, the lessons in this book helped software developers to reason more effectively about why certain approaches were ineffective or counterproductive over the long term. Both of us have read the book multiple times, both as requirements for work and with the goal of learning more from it in subsequent readings. Each time we read it, we learn more that we can apply in our jobs.
The Pragmatic Programmer is one a few books that we both recommend to aspiring developers. It heavily influenced both of us, and has greatly changed the way developers do their day-to-day work, as well as changing their long-term strategy. We’ve learned a lot from this book and we highly recommend it to you. This interview was an example of the kind of deep insight into the daily work of developers that the authors share.
Power Talk: Using Language to Build Authority and Influence
Going further into the book, chapter 3 looks at our knowledge of our own linguistic patterns. In it Dr. McGinty describes four steps for linguistic cross training. They are looking in (introspective view of how we sound), looking out (inspecting the speech and buzzwords of your group/office), trying in (testing out new behaviors in personal speech), and trying out (testing out new speech patterns in public settings). For each of these she gives guidelines and questions to ask yourself in the process. Chapter four takes the types of language from chapters 1 and 2 (Center and Edge) and shows how using the steps in chapter three we can start to apply them in new scenarios.
Tricks of the Trade
Take time to do things correctly if you want things to last. Vandalism is the only thing you can really do quickly with the intention of having it last a long time. Engineering, art, science, literature, and anything else that advances the world takes time.
We experienced some difficulties while recording this episode. Dave’s internet went down and he called in on his cell phone. It was an adventure with two heros of the coding community. Please be forgiving of the audio quality as the recording we were able to use did not have individual tracks so there is some background noises we couldn’t control.