Just a few of the inspirational and thoughtful stories and quotes I ran across this week. Come across any of your own that you'd like to share? I'm always looking for something interesting to read...
Characteristics of Good APIs
Have you ever had to deliberately create an API for another programmer (maybe at a different company) to use? Have you ever created a subsection of the program you work on at your company, which one of your coworkers had to consume using whatever subsection they were working on? Erik Dietrich discusses creating a clean and easily discoverable interface that abstracts away some area of code so other programmers don't have to worry about it. Using "API" principles between apps - and within apps - leads to cleaner and more manageable code.
Junior Dev Diaries
In a series of posts, Sam Jarman shares what he's learned and what's worked for him as a developer. The blog series is aimed at junior developers, touching on topics like being a team-player, improving yourself and developing an online presence. As an intermediate developer, I still found it all interesting. None of us is ever too experienced to improve.
The Problem With Heroes In Software Development
Heroes aren't limited to software development, or even technology. No matter what field you're in, there's usually that person that's the "go to" person. The one everyone turns to in an emergency. It's great working with people you can learn from, but one person playing the hero and always saving the day can be bad for them (burnout), the company (when the hero leaves) and you and me (relying on the hero instead of learning more).
"Other than writing a daily blog (a practice that's free, and priceless), reading more blogs is one of the best ways to become smarter, more effective and more engaged in what's going on. The last great online bargain."
~ Seth Godin, Read more blogs
"If you, for a second - a half a second - don't believe in what you're doing - whether it's your personal brand or the product you represent - you need to get out now."
~ Gary Vaynerchuk, Document, Don't Create
This was the first time I'd heard anything from Gary, but I found his talk pretty motivational. There seem to be two schools of thought. People like Gary and Jason Sonmez who talk about quantity (not necessarily over quality, but getting more out sooner rather than later), and those who release content (blog posts, videos, etc) less frequently but of a much more "finished" quality. I guess it depends on the type of content. Eh, food for thought...
There were a lot of good sound bites in the video, but I'll quote one more near the end of the video that cracked me up. It amazes me how head-over-heels some people have gone over Steve Jobs. He was smart but he wasn't the brains behind everything. Apple employs a lot of bright people, and he had a reputation for being a jerk sometimes.
I want to teach the world that you can build a billion-dollar empire on good. There's no reason.. this unfortunate narrative that affected a lot of my friends, of Steve Jobs, it became the move to be a dick because you're gonna get the best work out of people. I'll tell you right now, I'm 40, so far here's what I've got for you. People work way better when you deploy honey than vinegar.
This is post #14 in my personal challenge to complete 30 Days of Blogging. My goal is to become more comfortable with blogging in a more frequent and informal manner.