Should Developers be Ignorant?

Introduction

Once upon a time, in an earlier millennium, I was working on a greenfield project for a small company. We were making progress but, you will be astonished to hear, not hitting our initial estimates.

  • To provide the freedom to experiment

Overcoming Developer Fear

As an industry we need to acknowledge that Developer Fear is a very real thing. Every coder knows the pain of reading themselves into an unfamiliar codebase, and also adapting to new languages and frameworks. Change requires growth, and growth always involves pain. This pain can be mitigated but never entirely removed. As a professional trainer I often see talented and experienced developers grinding their gears as they abandon the old orthodoxy to embrace the new one.

Freedom to Experiment

Agile methods, such as XP, Scrum and Kanban, have done a lot for our industry. In Ye Olden Days, teams were forbidden from working with customers and slogged away for months without any meaningful feedback. These days even junior developers are interacting directly with clients and receive rapid progress on how successful their efforts have been. This is unreservedly a good thing.

Conclusions

Hopefully I’ve made the case that junior developers should be given a safe space of blissful ignorance to play in, and only slowly exposed to the cruel realities of business. This is a key reason why the Project Manager role is indispensable, to the distaste of some Agile proponents.

Helping developers develop software better. Coding for 30 years, teaching for 20. Google Developer Expert. Trainer at Instil. Also martial arts and philosophy.