What’s the best advice you’ve ever received that’s helped you in your chosen profession?
At RocketBuild, we know that great programming is about solving problems, and great mentorship and inspiration is what helps push developers forward. We asked our crew, what advice has made an impact on their journey, so that we can share it with other innovators and software development teams.
They opened up and shared a few key tricks of the trade that have stuck with them over the years of building custom applications.
Kyle Huff, Developer
“Communicate with honesty and intent.”
Being direct with members of your team helps build respect and cohesiveness. Whether you’re giving positive feedback, asking questions or challenging an idea or standard, communicating with honesty and intent is fundamental to productive conversation for both you and your organization.
Connor Hess, Technical Project Manager
“What code DOES is the asset—not the code itself.”
Perfect is the enemy of good. In the software world there is always a better way to do something. Don’t allow yourself to go down that rabbit hole. “A line of code is not an asset, what the code DOES is the asset.” ~Tyler Weiss. Getting to a reasonable, timely, and secure solution… building that solution and moving on is always going to work out better than trying to perfect every piece along the way.
Jon Krouse, Developer
“Break stuff!.. then, fix it.”
Don’t be afraid of being wrong or breaking things. When you learn to fix something you’ve broken or something you did wrong, you will come away with a much better understanding than if you had gotten everything right on your first go.
Tyler Poling, Director of Technical Solutions
“Practice empathy with both clients and software teams.”
From a consultant perspective, it’s important to be empathetic with both clients and development team members to help see things from each others’ perspectives. Any frustration on either side doesn’t come from a negative place; it comes from a desire to be understood, heard, and appreciated.
Caleb Francis, Senior Developer, Team Lead
“Think through the lens of the end user to guide decision making.”
As a developer it’s easy to get caught up in the intricacy of code and only worry about the systems inside. Sometimes I forget that at the end of the day, all of this work culminates in an application that is used by humans. The best advice I’ve received is to remember that I’m writing software for people. It helps me make decisions and impacts how I write applications. I want to make sure it’s nice to use and works well, and when it doesn’t, not be frustrating to figure out. It’s not enough for code to be clean and well-optimized, it also has to produce good software.
Tyler Weiss, Senior Developer
“Always be willing to teach something new to a fellow programmer.”
Software development is about continuous improvement. Personally, I want to learn and share and want others to be excited about learning. John Carmack said, “Programming is not a zero-sum game. Teaching something to a fellow programmer doesn’t take it away from you. I’m happy to share what I can, because I’m in it for the love of programming.”
Nathan Zarse, Director of Marketing
“Stick to following the MVP approach of building software.”
Any designer, innovator, or entrepreneur should be prepared to follow an MVP style approach to building their software. If you skip steps and assume you know what users needs, desires, and behaviors are, your risks are going to increase. Low fidelity mockups, prototyping, and continuous improvement will save lots of dollars and effort over time versus trying to jump ahead too far, too soon.
Jason Ward, Chief Innovation Officer
“Software must solve a real world challenge.”
User adoption is the most important part of any software development process. If the software doesn’t solve a problem or alleviate a pain, it doesn’t matter how good the code is. Make the value of the software obvious and immediate.