Random Ramblings on LabVIEW Design

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The Egotistical Programmer

Active Participant

Hello Humble Programmers,

The wonderful Brian Powell wrote a series of excellent articles that can be found here.

You can also listen to his face noises here.

For those too busy/lazy to follow links the synopsis is to be a great programmer you need to throw off designer ego and be humble.

 

Well I'm a bloody brilliant programmer and have a massive ego so there! <--- that's a joke.......honest...

 

But I truly believe that there is a paradox here. I'll tell a little story to elaborate my theory.

Chatting to lovely eldest daughter yesterday and the conversation turns to her friends group, the dynamic is that she has 5 extremely close friends who she's grown up with. Some of their other friends want access to this close group and get jealous, this jealousy leads to controlling behaviour on some of the more susceptible members of the close group, teetering on the edge of bullying. This outrages my daughter and she exclaimed "They think they are so important that they should always be involved". Her perspective was that their egos were large. My diagnosis was that actually they were acting from a point of small or damaged ego.

 

The point here is to act without ego you need a healthy/large ego. In fact the very terms large or small are incorrect in my opinion. Let's talk in terms of healthy and unhealthy egos.

 

The programmer who hides his code is often deemed to be arrogant, whereas I would say that their ego is unhealthy. 

 

In summary egoless programming requires programmers who have healthy egos.

 

The only way to get your programming ego healthy is delivery, in my opinion. You convince your ego that you are a good programmer by producing lots of good programs. The only way to judge a good program is if the user is happy with it and you.

 

I also suspect that the standard industry management technique of hammering people with tight deadlines and impossible goals chips away at the ego. In fact I've worked in places where this verges on policy so their prized assets don't look for jobs or ask for raises because their egos have been shattered. Oh! people with healthy egos are less manageable too.

 

You need to look after your ego, it's central to you!

To get the ball rolling.

YOU, yes you, I'm looking at you, you're a miracle. 6 Billion years in the making, you make shaped clouds in the air, constructs of pure imagination. I'm astonished to know you.

Lots of love

Steve

 

Comments
Active Participant

Nailed it, as always!! And as so often, I see a close connection/resemblance to the project management side of things.

 

I'm trying two things these days (which are very hard sometimes): Don't take on projects that don't allow for a minimum of possibility in their deadlines and goals, and be clear in my communication - planning, implementation, the good & bad & ugly news.

 

I find that if you're just honest and telling it like it is as early on as possible, very rarely is anyone offended or surprised. I like that.


Joerg Hampel, CLA & LabVIEW Champion | hampel-soft.com | alarchitects.org
Active Participant

Sorry, the last paragraph got lost somewhere:

 

If nobody wants you any harm (because they are neither offended nor surprised), it's much easier to be humble and keep your ego healthy!


Joerg Hampel, CLA & LabVIEW Champion | hampel-soft.com | alarchitects.org
Trusted Enthusiast

Yes, we are all 6 Billion years in the making.

 

For any of us: None of our genetic ancestors have, in those 6 Billion years, failed to reproduce.  That's one hell of a winning streak.  It boggles my mind to think of the sheer mathematical unlikelyhood that I should even exist.  The number of combinations of outcomes over those 6 Billion years that could easily have led to a completely different outcome is beyond human comprehension.  Yet we are who we are.

 

I prefer this link over the original : https://visual.ly/community/infographic/science/what-are-odds

Original link: https://www.sciencealert.com/what-is-the-likelihood-that-you-exist

Active Participant

You and me both brother!

Active Participant

One of my favorite books is called "Ego is the Enemy". When he talks about ego being bad, he is talking about what you call unhealthy ego.  It's this overinflated sense of confidence, and self-centeredness. It's funny, but funny but when you dig into that usually comes from a lack of self-worth.  Whereas I feel like the -healthy side of ego is self worth and self confidence but based on past experience and past successes.  The more you know and the more skilled you are, the more self worth you have and the less you feel the need to prove yourself.

Sam Taggart
CLA, CPI, LabVIEW Champion
DQMH Trusted Advisor
automatedenver.com
Active Participant

That's explained my points with great clarity Sam.

 

The paradox is between the actions of someone with an unhealthy ego and the perception that it is egotistical as a behaviour type.

Trusted Enthusiast

I'm so tempted to write loads on this topic. It's a topic (among others) which were discussed at many different stages of sobriety at last year's G-DevCon.

 

A lot seems to focus not neccessarily on a "lack" of self-worth but rather how one reacts when confronted with real-world effects which contradict our self-image.  Do you adapt your world view to fit your perception or do you adapt your perception to fit your world view. That's the big question.

Active Participant

I think it's the over investment of your ego into your designs too. It's not a healthy exercise and we all do it. The designers ego is an interesting thing!

Trusted Enthusiast

Isn't "over investment of your ego into your designs" just another way of saying "pride"? Which is of course the opposite of "humble".

Active Participant

Intaris  - I remember that conversation, at least parts of it.

 

Steve about being invested in the design, The real question is are you pursuing "your" solution or the "best" (I hate that word because how the heck do you define it, perhaps better put, the most appropriate) solution.

Sam Taggart
CLA, CPI, LabVIEW Champion
DQMH Trusted Advisor
automatedenver.com
Active Participant

Yeah Shane it is and Sam I agree with you "best" is an awful word to describe software designs. There is a practical reason to push your own way of doing things too. That's the decisions we have to make as designers and what's best for the customer is usually a good place to focus.

 

I blogged about this while ago - Ideas

The main point is that some things are worth putting pride into (like pride in your craft, nice tidy block diagrams etc). whereas customer facing stuff should be less expensive on your ego (changing UI functionality for example). And this comes down to investment I think, if you're really invested in a design and you spent ages doing it, it will hurt when the customer says they don't like it.