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By legendx
Published: Jul 16 2008 / 03:46

One of the most common threads that all programmers share is that of an ego. Some are much worse than others and some have found a way to control or manipulate their ego into a great benefit. Beyond skill-sets and other programming-specific talents I believe the greatest room for personal improvement in programmers as a whole is that of the ego.
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paul_houle replied ago:

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Perhaps I'm too interested in psychoanalysis for an American in the 21st century, but I think it's a big mistake that people think "ego" is a bad thing.

The "ego" is the part of the mind that reconciles the archaic needs of the organism with environmental realities -- it applies the "reality principle." Most of the symptoms that laymen associate with "a big ego" are actually caused by a small ego that isn't doing it's job right.

I've seen shops that have very different attitudes. Right now I work in a place where we talk about Paul's code and Peter's code and John's code and Luke's code. Kinda like a zone defense in basketball. I worked in another place where you weren't supposed to say this was "my code" or "his code", but it was all "our code."

Some places are going to benefit by puffing up the "rock star" myth, others are going to encourage humility. Different organizations face different challenges and I don't think there's one right culture.

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legendx replied ago:

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I actually address this later on in the article. It is difficult to adopt the 'ego-filled' culture unless everyone is on board. However you are right in the sense that if you can pull it off you will see a huge jump in the quality and productivity of your workers. There is no right way.. but when in doubt, egoless will keep you out of trouble.

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