Robert Basic's blog

Posts tagged 'me'

Things I learned in the past four years

by Robert Basic on December 30, 2016.

Since yesterday was my last day on a project after four years and two months, I decided to take a look back on those four years and write down some of the things I learned.

Things I learned about being a better listener, a better communicator, a better team mate, a better programmer.

Leave your ego at the door

This is probably one of the hardest and most important lessons I learned. I’m happy that I learned it early into the project.

Ego gets into the way of the actual programming. There is no place for it. People get defensive about their code, become deaf to advice, don’t take criticism well. This slows down the development process, makes communicating difficult, if not impossible.

Criticism of my code is not criticism of me. If I submit a pull request and the reviewer deems the code not fit for inclusion into the project, there is nothing to get upset about. The code needs improvement. If I know how, I’ll improve it, if not, I’ll ask for help how. It is much better and efficient than getting all protective about the code.

Don’t play the blame game

Joe wrote an excellent piece on the blame game more than 3 years ago.

Removing the blame from the entire process is liberating. When dealing with a problem, don’t focus on trying to find the person, or persons, responsible for the issue at hand, but try to understand what caused the problem, what is the best and fastest way to solve it, and how to prevent it from happening again in the future.

I know I was lucky to be working on a project where this blame game was not being played and that there are a lot of teams and companies where there’s a ton of office politics and everyone wants to survive… But that stuff really isn’t helping any one. If possible, at least try to not play it within your team, with your closest coworkers.

Take responsibility

Admitting to a mistake is hard. It’s scary.

Admitting first to myself that I’m not infallible, that mistakes happen makes taking responsibility a lot easier. And it becomes easier over time.

I believe that people tend to react positively to sincerity. Being honest and upfront that I made a mistake, saying sorry, goes a long way. Yes, the mistake might have repercussions, but I’m an adult and I stand by what I did.

Taking responsibility is the professional thing to do.

It’s OK to say I don’t know

I don’t know.

I’ve said it a lot. I’m still here, still alive, the world didn’t come to an end. No one punished me for it. The only thing that happened is that I learned new things I didn’t know before. And guess what? Learning new things is part of the job.

Saying “I don’t know, can you show me please?” is perfectly fine. If we ask for help, we will get it. People like helping.

Knowing the business domain is important

We, programmers, are a smart bunch of people. We solve problems for a living. Without knowing what is the actual problem the business is trying to solve and just waiting for others to give us a solution which we need to translate into code, takes away the problem solving for which we initially signed up for. The business will also miss out on properly utilizing the experience we gained so far.

Understanding the core domain makes it possible to give ideas, work together with other people (not necessarily programmers) to come up with better solutions. Everyone will benefit from this. The business gains by having yet another smart person helping out, and you by learning new things.

Not everything we learn need to be exclusively about code.

Ask why?

This goes hand in hand with knowing the business domain.

Keep asking why. Why is some new feature being implemented, why do they need it? If you are joining a project that is being developed for some time, ask why were some things done in a certain way. It will both make learning the business domain easier and faster and it will also help with getting to know the codebase.

Asking why shows the business owners that you care, and caring about the same things as they do will only be helpful during the project’s lifetime. They will provide help and explanations much easier.

Onto new adventures

Working on this huge project for this long is something I’m truly grateful for. Not everyone gets an opportunity like this, especially this early in their professional career.

I learned a lot from my friend, partner and mentor, Srdjan, as well as from Luka who joined our small team recently.

I’m certain the new year will bring us exciting new challenges. If you have, or know of a project where the three of us could help out, let us know.

The Code4Hire team is here to help.

Tags: about, learning, me, random.
Categories: Blablabla, Development, Programming.

New adventures ahead!

by Robert Basic on May 23, 2011.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

After a month or two of pondering and thinking and planning and thinking and some more thinking, today I finally told the management at work that I’ll be leaving in a month from today. Actually, I won’t be extending my contract with them which will end on June 24th.

Why? I don’t like the road the leadership of the company has taken (if this can be called a road at all…), the amount of energy the whole team is wasting on some small and silly things, the fact that extra effort is not recognised, thanked or paid and that there’s currently 8 of us in a roughly 25 m^2 room.

I know, there are bad moments everywhere when one just have to suck it up and deal with it for the whole team/company, but I’ve been doing that for quite some time and I had enough of that.

The only thing that makes me sad about this decision is that I’ll be leaving @milosija on his own here, a great mentor and friend from whom I’ve learnt a lot.

On the other hand, as of June 25th I’ll be starting my own company, which should be an exciting new experience. Still need to wrap my head around that one, so more on that in some future post…

Until then,
happy hackin’!

Tags: about, company, future, job, me.
Categories: Blablabla.

Moved

by Robert Basic on July 11, 2010.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

As I said 2 weeks earlier, I decided to move my stuff over to linode. Well, I did it. Kinda.

First step was to change the nameservers of the domain. I thought it’s gonna take a while, so I took my time with moving the files and the database, but (at least on my end) the dns changes were alive and kickin’ under an hour.

My original idea was to run everything on nginx, but that soon turned out to be a bad idea cause there was no way I could setup properly the rewriting - if PHP was working right, CSS was broken. If CSS was working right, PHP was broken. At one point I broke everything. Hooray for me. Then I just took down nginx and all that php-fastcgi stuff and installed apache. Everything is lovely once again, the world is all shiny and pink and full of rainbows and unicorns. But fear not, I will not let nginx beat me in this mad game of rewrites! Just have to do that somewhere else, not on a live server.

Now to setup the emails and my job here is done. Oh, and the sidebar is a tad broken. Sorry bout that.

Carry on now, nothing left to see here.

Tags: about, me, moving.
Categories: Blablabla.

I'll be moving soon...

by Robert Basic on June 27, 2010.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

Just a little heads up to all of you who stumble upon this place: I’ll be moving servers and stuff in the coming month to linode and most likely there’ll be some downtimes and fuckups so just thought to let you all know (this sounds like there’s someone reading this blog at all, heh).

Hope I won’t forget to make backups.

Tags: about, me, moving.
Categories: Blablabla.

2009 in a few words

by Robert Basic on January 02, 2010.
Heads-up! You're reading an old post and the information in it is quite probably outdated.

In 2009 some good stuff happened and some bad stuff happened. All in all, a crappy year. Hopefully, this year will be a lot better…

I graduated on June 26th, the topic was a Python desktop application that communicates with a web service; both sending and receiving data is possible. Started working on July 1st at Online Solutions as a PHP dev and started to “officially” give back to the Open Source community by joining the ZF Bug Hunt Days - so far few minor patches submitted and applied. Wrote a review on a ZF book and another one on jQuery and PHP is in the drafts.

I ain’t making plans for this year, cause I have failed miserably to realize my most important plan for 2009; I’ll just improvise throughout the year.

Dear 2009 - up yours. 2010 - bring it on.

Happy new year!

Tags: about, fail, me, random.
Categories: Blablabla, Free time.