The One Thing They Should have Taught in School

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One of the reasons I got into computers is because computers are not people.  The other reason is that life was boring and computers are challenging.  Part of the reason I got through college is because I was around people that understood computers better than I and I could learn from them.  As I have matured in my career I have found one glaring and now obvious fact that I wish was pounded into me during college.  It was indirectly taught with core classes but I needed a literal tell me straight statement.  If could talk to my former, younger self, here is what would I say.

Computers and People Coexist

You cannot get away from people no matter hard one tries.  One can surround themselves with computers and screens and it will not make a difference.  Any project worth doing nowadays is usually done in a team.  This means meetings, asking and answering questions and if one is blessed, training and mentoring.

The Ultimate User is a Person

After all the fancy multi-tiered design, implementation and the various types of testing done, that project will have a human in the loop making decisions and inputting data.  That means requirements come from … humans because humans are going to use it.  Requirements require understanding.  Understanding requires questions.  Questions require answers.  Question and answers require a time and place to ask and receive information.  Assigning a time and place to gather information is a meeting.  Meetings require people.

Teams Require People to Function

Teams are split up into areas of expertise.  These experts need each other to reach the same goal.  Reaching that goal requires communication.  Communication typically requires people.

Want a Job?

To become a professional software developer, one needs employment.  To become employed, one needs an interview.  Interviews are conversations convincing another human being about how much an expert one is.  One of the interviewer’s jobs is to convince that the candidate should work for the employer he/she represents.  Selling yourself means knowing a particular type of communication.  Communication could be between computers but not in an interview.  Interviews require people interacting.

Networking

I cannot tell one how many jobs I have landed because someone recommended me.  That is because I got my head out of the computer and talked computers with a teammate, enough said.

Well, There it is

That is what I would have told my college self if I could.

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