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Canceling Programmers for Mistakes? You’re Next!

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Today we’re going to talk about how canceling developers and other IT professionals for mistakes can hold you back from the career you want in software.

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Are you starting to hate leading programmers on your team? Are you looking around on your software project and just waiting to see someone fail? Are you quick to condemn a manager or developer and cast them useless after a single mistake? Today we’re going to talk about how failing to forgive programmers and other IT professionals for mistakes can hold you back from the career you want in software.

The Dangers of “Success”

When I first began developing software, I wasn’t particularly ambitious. I needed to make a living to support my wife and son, but I came from a background of partying and playing in a band. But after a few short years I had several promotions and raises, and it started to go to my head. With each new success, my pride got bigger.

Once software projects started getting complicated, I started looking for people to blame. The scrum master didn’t understand agile enough. The operations team wasn’t making it easy enough to release changes into production. The other developers weren’t following my coding patterns. Yeah, I became an elitist jerk.

Falling Hard

But as I’ve told you many times on this channel, I fell hard eventually. A victim of career-long burnout, I lost my job, a lot of money, and sunk into depression. But when I came out of it, I made this channel and started giving software developers and engineers career advice. It also led me to learn how to work better myself – and help you be a healthy software developer.

Is Success Putting You in Danger?

A moment though of reflection for yourself: are you on the way there? Starting to get rewards and recognition for developing software? Is it getting easier to see flaws in developers and other people on your software project, making you quick to judge? Are you canceling the people who can help you for simple mistakes?

Motivation for True Forgiveness

If we’re humble and honest, we’ve all made mistakes. And I’m sure I’m going to make many more, whether on a software project, coaching you on your career, or on this channel. I’m pretty sure if you’re willing to take an honest look at yourself, you know you’re going to too. But you’ve made mistakes in the past and been forgiven. So should you be more forgiving too? Can we really be fair canceling anyone?

What Would Teamwork Be Like?

What would it be like if all our teams were more like this? What if we worked together assuming we’ll make mistakes, and not being surprised? What if we spent more time forgiving, learning, and teaching – and less blaming? Imagine the courage we could have to try and do risky things that might be breakthroughs with our products, technologies, and careers?

A Call to Action

To this end, I’m asking for your help in this video. Leave a comment on the YouTube video for this episode, with a story about someone who blew it – BAD. But who turned around in your mind. Maybe you realized they were really good at something else, even though they had weaknesses in one area.

If you don’t have a story like this, just read the comments for encouragement. Sometimes when you make a mistake on your software project, it can feel like nobody will ever forgive you or forget the mistake. But that doesn’t have to be true.

A couple ground rules.

  1. Don’t use their real name.
  2. Don’t name the company, project, or product you worked on.

This will show some kindness to the person – and also keep you out of trouble with HR!

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Jayme Returns to Coach Healthy Developers!
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On YouTube and all major podcast networks, Jayme shares teamwork and leadership strategies, guidelines for healthy company culture, and stories about real projects so you can have a sustainable career in the software industry.

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Jayme Edwards

A family man and veteran of nearly 40 software projects, Jayme experienced many wins and losses over his career as an architect and consultant.

Now he's coaching software developers, managers, and business owners to overcome challenges in the IT industry - so they keep growing.