Fear-Driven Development: Fears of A Software Developer

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Fear-Driven Development: Fears of A Software Developer

One developer-turned-SVP of Engineering recounts some of the fears he had as a developer and talks about what scares him in his current role.

· Agile Zone ·
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"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Considering my neighbors are now decking their houses for Halloween to spook the local kids - it feels like a good time to have some fun around the fears of a software developer!

Fear-Driven Development

In my early career, I was a Software Engineer, a rewarding but sometimes frightening job. After each push to the release branch, I would have many fears: had I properly tested my code? Was there a memory leak? Did I properly account for the ghost in the machine? Did I remember to turn the iron off?

In my current role, I am no longer required to produce meaningful code, but I still interact with and support many engineers. What I've learned is that the fears that I once had still lingered. The boogie man is still lurking around for engineers. From all my interactions these are some " things that go bump in the night " for the modern Software Engineer:

Fear That...

...a bug in my code will appear as a CVE;

...a bug in my code will appear on CNN;

...a bug in my code will get "branded" (see Heartbleed or Shellshock or Ghost, etc.);

...what I'm working on today will appear on Coding Horror tomorrow;

...it doesn't work on my machine;

...it only works on my machine

...what I'm searching for on Google will not be on the first page and I'll have work to do.

Fear of ...

...being swallowed by a mouthful of FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google)

...that I'll be put out of business at the next AWS re:Invent keynote

... Clean Code, also known as Ablutophobia

... Dirty Code, also known as Mysophobia.

...changing the code, also known as Metathesiophobia.

...being replaced by StackOverflow powered AI

...being awakened at 2 am with the notification "Production Down"

...being awakened at 2 am with the notification "We need YOU on this call"

...the dependency on the SLA of a 3rd party.

...a latent bug manifesting, because of a dependency I don't know or thought about.

...the weather

...deploying the last thing on a Friday

...moving away from the code

...staying with the code

...being considered for management

...not keeping pace with new technologies

...no internet connection

...the neighbors asking for help to fix their PC. "I thought you were a computer person"

...the demo gods.

agile, dev career, dev life, fears

Published at DZone with permission of David Mckenna , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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