Global Constant
Steve Nay's ramblings

Smart & Gets Things Done: Ideas for the programmer

Smart & Gets Things Done by Joel Spolsky was one of the items on my Christmas wish list. Thanks to my wonderful mother, I happily received a copy Christmas morning and spent most of the day reading it. The whole thing. It was very interesting, and it changed what I look for in a potential employer.

While at present I may not yet be the top-notch software developer Joel describes (I’m still in college, which I suppose justifies that), the book at least gives me some ideas about (a) what I can do to become such a programmer, and (b) what I can expect if (when?) I do reach that level and look for a “real” job.

The top-notch developers who can “hit the high notes” (chapter 1) can afford to be picky about where they work, with whom, and in what conditions, simply because they’re just that good. For the companies that want to hire them, the game changes from one in which the company has something that the candidate desperately wants to one in which the candidate is the thing the company desperately wants.

At the peril of extrapolating Joel’s thoughts far beyond their originally intended scope, I offer some suggestions to myself (and any other budding programmer who wants to “hit the high notes”):

Well, those are my thoughts. There’s a lot that goes into becoming a great developer, but these are a few things to get you started. At any rate, Smart & Gets Things Done is an enlightening read for manager and (budding) programmer alike.