One of the side effects of working with lots of different teams is that I get to meet a lot of people, at all stages in their careers. I try and stay in touch with as many as I can, and sometimes there’s an opportunity to help someone.
This might be helping someone who’s transitioning into software to land their first developer role, or perhaps giving someone who’s ready and deserving a nudge that helps them get a promotion. Maybe it’s helping someone refresh their CV by showing them all the things they should be proud of that they overlook or think nothing of. Sometimes it’s helping someone understand a thing they were struggling with, or showing them a new way of doing something.
Now and then I hear back from these people, sometimes many years on – and it makes me very proud to hear the awesome things they’ve been up to, and where their careers and lives are taking them!
I will always remember the things people have done to help me over the years, and I wouldn’t be where I am now if it weren’t for those acts of generosity however big or small. I learned TDD from a colleague who I shared train journeys with; I remember when my team lead at the time gave me a nudge into giving tech talks.
In software we can sometimes act as though we’re in constant competition with each other, and like it’s a zero sum game where for one person to win another has to lose. This is utter nonsense! If we all stopped the stupid point-scoring, and started looking for opportunities to help each other grow, wouldn’t we all gain so much from it?