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Don’t Be a Humble Developer!

I was scrolling reels on Instagram. Then a nice and funny video came to my feed. In that reel, An spiritual coach(guru) called Sadhguru made a funny but thoughtful joke. Before talking further, I need to say… I am not a follower or fan of his, but I like some of his philosophies.

Let’s get back to the reel. Sadhguru and an Indian actor talking about God, depression, and why people get depressed. Sadhguru made a joke at the end of the reel that If anyone feels lonely, then they are bad company. 😆 (He meant if they were good company, they might not feel lonely in the first place. Rather, They would enjoy their “alone” time.)

Why am I telling you this? Because I realize one very important side of life. Life is never fair. But we make it harder and more complex by doing nothing about it. We somehow daydream and think that the fairness of life will give us what we really deserve.

And The last line was exactly told by Mr. Andrew(a fake name, I ask every guest-interviewee if I can reveal their identity in my article, but as it’s their decision, I respect their decision). He has been in the software development industry for over 20 years. He is now a CTO in his company for 5 years.

We talked about many things. But I will focus only on one very important topic that most good developers suffer in their lifetime at least once. That is… Good developers are often so humble that they don’t even know how to take credit for their work. They think their work will talk for themselves.

He talked brutally about “this” ignorance of good developers.

Why some great devs don’t get what they deserve

We discussed why some great developers don’t get their deserved recognition or financial benefits, and sometimes, some mediocre devs achieve more than the good ones.
He first replied with just one line…

Life is not fair.

Then he explained it with beautiful but brutal words…

“I don’t know why some people think life is fair… Life is not fair… It was never fair… If anything, Life is super unfair. I have seen many good developers do something super cool but couldn’t take the proper credit. It happens when you work in a bad team or a bad system.

I have seen that most of the good developers are good people. They are humble and introverted. They can do their job well, but some can’t take advantage of their good work.

Sometimes other devs from the team take the credit, and sometimes, the project manager, the supervisor developer, or the CTO doesn’t get to know who did the great work.

You might think you don’t need the recognition. But believe me, you do when the company considers who gets the promotion or who to fire.

Don’t worry too much about what your team members would think about you. Your team members might not like you for this, but they would respect you. And most importantly, your project manager will know you are a good, confident developer and better than others.”

Your work will not speak for you

There is another very important and related issue we talked about. When I asked him… doesn’t good work/code enough for the recognition we need?

He laughed and looked at me with so much pity that I didn’t know anything about this cruel world. He said… “Oh, dear!!” Your work will only make your teammates aware that you are a good coder.

But your project manager and your supervisor will forget the whole thing you are doing today. They would only remember did your team delivered the task properly or not. So, If you don’t communicate with your supervisor about your work regularly, they won’t remember it in the long run.

Your personal good work might be lost by the average or bad work of your team members. So, you will not get benefits at the time of layoff or promotion.

Your work will not speak for you at the time of your need. Your supervisor will. And They will remember only if you communicate well in the past regularly.

Then I told him that I had seen some exceptions. He then said… of course, 10–20% of developers might be so extra-talented that they are recognized even if they don’t claim their good works. But then he also said… They would have been a better career position if they spoke more about their work.

Communication is the key here. He said that communicating regularly and taking credit played the biggest role in his success. There were many better coders than him who wanted the same jobs he had landed. But he got ahead by maintaining clear and regular communication.

After discussing more topics like AI, Blockchain, and some stuff, he gave me a very funny and practical example. He told me developers earn better than most other professionals, and they are good people.
So, why do they still get fewer dates than other people? Because they can’t communicate!!

He gave me one last tip. If I ever want to have a career in a management role, like CTO in the future, I must emphasize more on “taking credits” from the beginning of my career. He said being humble or modest is overrated and it would not do me any good for my career.

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