“Things My Lead Hates”


If you’re here you may have probably arrived because of my propensity to say “#ThingsMyLeadHates” on twitter.  This comes about from a rant with my lead the other day.  So sit back, relax, story time:

I work in a large software firm.  There’s people who I work with that have been coding for decades, others who are just crazy smart.  The amount of raw experience and talent I am immersed with daily is boggling.  Frankly it’s awesome and it’s one of the things I really love about my job.  I work with probably some of the best programmers in the world and I’m constantly working to be just half as good as most of them.

So given that environment you might imagine that strong opinions come into play quite frequently.  My lead in particular is very opinionated about some specific programming patterns.  She will eat a person alive if they write bad code.  Her code review comments can be direct and very cutting.  It’s a little intimidating working with her at first because of this, but the more I’ve gotten to know her the more I actually appreciate getting the feedback.  She may be a bit too direct but she’s also helping us to actually grow and be better.

Recently after getting somewhat worked up about a real problem she started ranting about patterns she hates.  Now just to be clear, there are a lot of programming patterns out there that have valid but completely contradictory opinions about their value.  Part of what makes this particular rant funny is that each person has their own pet peeve about a particular common pattern.  The pet peeve might be justified, or it might be because of some humorous or embarrassing bug related to that pattern.  My lead has a seemingly endless set of patterns she hates.

Also I want to be clear, my lead is probably smarter than I am.  She has certainly gotten more experience then I.  I believe she has a better grasp for the mistakes that we make today that we only end up regretting tomorrow.  She also has very valid arguments for her opinions.  Although there are also valid arguments counter to her opinions as well (just to be fair).

So this rant about patterns has become somewhat of a joke on my team and it’s a bit of a way of venting about something we see that just bothers us and also an acknowledge of our own hubris.  We’re not perfect.  We all make mistakes.  We always try to be doing better. The fact that my lead knows we’re working towards being better is part of what makes the rants fun and not just awkward and upsetting.

So next time you see me post some pattern know that it’s probably something that either I or someone I know has recently talked about.  Sometimes it’s good to make light of our mistakes and hang-ups, even if only to let others know that we really really care about the fact that they should never double space their lines or we might just have to stab them.