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A Programmer's Fear

I’ve writing about the effects of fear on a programmer (and a person) over the last couple of weeks, here are some quotes that I’ve been tweeting on the way:

  • When a team recognises failure without blame or embarrassment the fear of experimentation evaporates and creativity can flourish

  • At sea we felt fear of fire, rocks and drowning but it was no comparison to the fear I felt sat in a cubicle in my first office job

  • I learnt to love those who repressed my creativity and worked hard to please them by excelling at the mundane (Stockholm Syndrome)

  • A preference for elegant code over people’s messy behaviour encouraged me to create a protective bubble around myself.

  • My bubble consisted of a pair of headphones and technical language designed to alienate rather than communicate with clarity.

  • In a team free of fear I listen with an open mind. Ideas emerge and strengthen with each contribution. Creativity bonds us

  • I crave a respectable position in this informal social hierarchy – it stands in the way of treating all people equally and listening openly

  • Without fear our minds are #free to find better ways of working. We do it every day, all day. We do “the work” as we discover the method

  • Ask me and I’ll tell you about my strong belief in equality, step inside my head and I’m deciding whether to look up to or down on you

  • Thinking about the way I behaved before working in supportive team. Fear and competition often lead to sarcasm and condescension.

  • As we grew as a team, dysfunctional behaviours caused by fear started to evaporate and be replaced with supportive and empathetic ones

  • Fear can utterly dominate our behaviour. It stops us thinking, helping, learning, discovering and sharing; the things we need in abundance.

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