The “average” developer field of interest

time to read 3 min | 445 words

I recently got a comment that included this:

…this "Making code faster" series is pretty useless for the average developer working on the usual application.

And I couldn’t disagree more.

Now, to be fair, the kind of challenges that we have to deal with while building high performance database engine are quite different than the kind of challenges that a typical enterprise developer has to deal with. That isn’t quite true, we have the studio, which behaves very much like an application, but you’ll rarely see me talking about the JavaScript aspects of building the RavenDB Studio. I’ll just say that from my perspective, this post summarize my feelings about modern JavaScript dev.

But back to the topic, the average developer is a mythical beast., who apparently have very little time to look around from coding yet another login page that have to be delivered now. I have had several such discussions about this in the past. And I think that this post summarize the opposing view, pretty much saying that is offesnive to expect someone to have the time to improve themselves.

My thinking is that if you value your career, you need to contiously put it in effort to actually improve and extend themselves, period. And that isn't to say that this is easy.

Here is the deal, if you are only interested in what you can bring you immediate value (the hottest JS libraries, or some design pattern that you need to use tomorrow), you are doing yourself a disservice. In order to be good, you need to continuously invest in learning new stuff. And you need to do it in such as way that you aren’t continuously learning the same stuff over and over again (no, learning WebForms, MVC 1, MVC 2 … MVC 5, MVC Core doesn’t count).

Quite a bit of this isn’t really going to be useful in the near future, but expanding your knowledge base is going to be useful in the long term. You are going to run into things and go “Ah! I know that already”, or be able to provide much better solutions then the stuff that have already been tried.

Yes, that actually take both work and effort. You need to make time to do so, and when you have family and kids that isn’t easy. But it is worth it.

And just because I know people are going to read it as such, that does not mean that you've got to abandon the kids to raise themselves while you are hacking away at your latest interest. For most people, putting in two to four hours a week is possible. Feel free to cut down the time you are browsing Facebook, for example.