Skip to main content

Who's at our developer dinner table?

· 5 min read
Margaret Kennedy

And how to deal with them...

Holiday dinners have a familiar cast of characters that most can relate to—from the grandparent heralding the good old days to the little cousin who somehow can work a smartphone better than many of the adults in the family.

For developers, some of these personalities also tend to come to the metaphorical developer dinner table in professional settings. While we can’t help you navigate family politics at Thanksgiving, we can offer some advice for the counterparts you may experience in your work life (because we encounter them, too).

The Cast:

Inquisitive Younger Cousin Who is Eager for Your Thoughts

These folks ask tons of questions and want every single detail. Though it can feel tedious, taking young and passionate developers under your wing might unlock new efficiencies or workflows that enable you to work on higher-level projects that you may not have time for. Teach the junior developer to fish, and you both may be able to feast on the rewards for a long time to come!

Know-It-All Uncle (Who Maybe Doesn’t Know Anything)

No one likes a know-it-all, especially one who doesn’t actually know what they are talking about. Non-developers who tell you how to do your job, or insist they know the “right” way, are their own brand of annoying.

While your instinct at a family gathering may be to just roll your eyes, that might not be an option at work. Try disarming the Know-It-All with “Thank you for your suggestion—we’ll take it under advisement.” This can appease them and save you from fruitless debate. Whether you really take it under advisement or not is up to you!

One-Upper Sibling (Who Thinks They are One Step Ahead of You)

Anything you can do, they claim to do better. Every company runs into competitors that claim to do it better, faster, for less money, etc. There will often be people nipping at your heels, declaring that a project you’re proud of isn’t as impressive as the project they did.

Our advice? Ignore them as best you can. It’s easy to be all talk—and as an industry, we haven’t solved the measurement quagmire yet. Instead of boasting, our collective time would be better spent creating measurement systems that let data systems—and the work that comes from using them—speak for themselves.

Old-School Grandma That Refuses to Get With the Times

Technology and industry are moving ahead at warp speed, and some people may get left behind. No one likes to feel like their skills aren’t transferring toward the new way of doing things, but it is so costly to look backward instead of anticipating what’s ahead. If you are part of the next generation that is innovating, you may face resistance from those who think we should stick with the way things have always been done.

The best you can do in these circumstances is to share your thought process and why the new way is more efficient, more effective or whatever the reason may be. It won’t convert them all, but approaching these situations like you would the Inquisitive Younger Cousin can bring about better and stronger development that benefits from years of wisdom AND a fresh perspective.

Supportive Parent That Lets You Do You

The holy grail for any developer is an internal team champion that gives you the support and resources you need to do your job. The antidote to the Know-It-All Uncle, this person acknowledges your expertise and that you likely know more about your work than they ever will. Communicating often with this person, sharing results and wins, is a great way to support any self-advocacy you may need to do.

Your Family May Not Get You, But We Do

We can’t choose our family, and we can’t always choose the folks internally that we need to work with. Deephaven may not be able to solve your internal politics, but we can help provide tools that make your job easier and more efficient. Our open-core query engine allows you to build apps and analytics that combine the power of batch data with real-time streams. Instead of multiple platforms, it’s one intuitive solution that encourages collaboration and takes care of all of your data needs.

Don’t just take our word for it—try it yourself! Fork from the Deephaven Core Github repository and share with us on Twitter or LinkedIn what you do with it.

The added benefit? You can use it as an excuse to get out of dealing with any of the literal family personalities described above. It can be our little secret.

Happy developing - and Happy Thanksgiving!

Develop with Deephaven Core