Geeks With Blogs
George Clingerman

If I had to name just one thing in my life that has improved my "developerness" more than any other, it would be the friends I have made (I am using the term "friend" here very lightly). Really, it's been those people, for whatever reason are better than I am at being all the developer they can be. Being around those people enhanced my own set of skills more than any single class I attended, book I read or lesson that I learned.

I'm sure it's probably a saying I've heard somewhere, but I'm way to lazy to figure out who, what, where, when or why so let's just pretend it's me. It's more fun that way. I personally think, if you want to be your best, you have to be around the best. It's something I've found to be true throughout my life and I've seen it to be true in others lives as well.

I was part of an Unreal Tournament 2004 clan. We were "mediocre" as a group, but we had this one guy who was just phenomenal. It was just incredible the reflexes and aim that he had. He just "got it". On top of that, he worked hard at what he did. The natural ability complementing all his hard work just put him on another plane of existence in the game. He tried hard to get us to see the game the way he could. In the end however, he hit a wall. He just could not push himself any further while playing with us. It wasn't a challenge for him and his skills were starting to atrophy. It finally got to the point where he realized he had to leave if he wanted to improve. So he did. And he did. He found another clan, a group of guys who weren't "mediocre" and he trained with them. He improved an incredible amount. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Often, you may end up being "the best" in a given situation. I think once you recognize that you've lost your challenge, it's important to change the situation as soon as possible.  Obviously one option is to leave your current situation like my friend did and go somewhere else. Go where you are having to work to keep up with the other developers. A place where your skills are challenged. You will definitely grow in a place like that.

I also realize that leaving may not be an option you want to take, however you will have to take some action or you will begin to plateau. Eventually, your skills will decline. And in this industry, you will get left behind. If finding a new environment that surrounds you with the best isn't an option, you can try and create a "best" situation for yourself. Talk to your manager and see if you can help in hiring some more people that challenge you. Make some online friends. Find Rorys, Justices and Hanslemans and make them a part of your life. Make them challenge you. Get involved in an open source project with some bright developers. Find your local user groups. Attend your Code Camps.

Get challenged.

Surround yourself with the best.

Make some new friends.

Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 4:04 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Want to be a better developer? Make some new friends.

# re: Want to be a better developer? Make some new friends.
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hi. i want a new friend
Left by rakshya on Jan 30, 2009 3:47 AM

# re: Want to be a better developer? Make some new friends.
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im a ugandan,brown with beautiful best hobbie is making new friends.
Left by nabiira on Jul 21, 2009 4:52 AM

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