Some Simple things to be an Outlier Developer

Cory House Outlier developer course provided covered the key items which are required to become an outlier developer.

In this post, I want to share with you all some simple things which I have learntover a period of time in my career and which I felt makes sense as an addon to becoming an outlier.

First things First

All of us have aspirations, dreams and also to some extent greed due to lack of knowledge. We really confuse between wish and need and chase up lot of unwanted items only to find that the journey was not worth it when we finally got the result.

Becoming an outlier developer requires a huge amount of effort, motivation and discipline. The intense focus on some of the areas means that we end up focusing less on some of the other key areas in life. There will be failures and personal set backs. In moments like them, we need to take a though decision and really focus on “First things First”. We need to do what is right under that circumstance. That may mean for some time taking a back seat from our main focus area. We should know when to stop when there is no benefit in putting extra effort or we know that we need other things at that point than being an outlier developer.

A key thing is to have a supporting family, a select network of friends whom we can lean upon and above all good spiritual support so that we can weather the rough storms we may face in life.

Having the above things first makes sure we enjoy our process of becoming an outlier developer better.

Having a leaning plan and documenting results

As we get older for want of time and the daily pressures, we will not be able to spend more time and intense effort on our learning journey. Under such circumstances we need to
have a flexible plan. It is also important that we takes notes of what we learn and revise it often.

With the growth in digital tools we spend less time taking manual notes. I feel that manual note taking process is very important and we should also have this in parallel to digital note taking. Drawing diagrams and looking at things from different view point and trying to related what we learn to things we already know makes sure that we retain the information we learn better.

I also think we should have a quarterly or annual learning outcome report where we document our key learning in our personal and on the job learning. Business confidential information can be left off but the key lessons in generic terms can be share with other.

A very good example of learning outcome report is from the blog of Rama Kanneganti. Though his About me page looks simple and highlights less of his technical accomplishments, he is one of the best thought leader, I have seen among IT architects.

In his blog article 2014 a Personal technology journey, he has shared key learning outcomes across various technologies. This is one a good way to document our learning to be shared with our friends and colleagues.

In fact we can even prepare a quarterly learning report to document our learning outcomes.

Rama also has authored many interesting articles which are a good read. What does it take to become an architect is a good post and an essential read for any architect.

Looking at the big picture

Today’s work life is in some cases chaotic and filled with conflicts. There will be frustrating times and we need to handle some sticky stakeholders. There arises a need to step back, not lose sight of the big picture handle things tactfully.

We must see the role we play and its importance to the big picture. Looking at our role from a larger perspective helps us to handle many of the strifes we face in day to day life much better.

Blogging about how our work impacts the industry we work on is also another way to enlarge our perspective.

Simple advises for being better programmer

There are a lot of articles on the web on how to be better programmer. Though a lot of articles lack originality, there are really some good posts from people famous and really simple. I have been bookmarking them for the past 4-5 years and I maintain a list of really wonderful posts in this lisly list. We can follow what feels best for us.

Read widely

It is also important that we read on other non technical areas like listening skills, lateral thinking, creativity, visual problem solving, art, history, etc.

Reading widely keeps our minds open and keeps our interests alive.