Like A Girl

Pushing the conversation on gender equality.

Code Like A Girl

8 Maddening Things That Developers do

And you wish, you could do too.

The funny side of web development won’t stop at the program you are writing, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. So here are eight things that you and your colleagues will be doing for a while.

1. Having too much Fun Naming things

Naming things is hard. If you ever had to name something important like a child, a company or your religion, you know what I mean.

In development, things are usually kept small to avoid substantial repercussions. For example functions and methods are compact, but their consequences can be gigantic, and sometimes we developers have way too much fun naming them, and that ruins it for everyone else.

My favorite method name is still [who_can_hash?] I will be getting crap for that one for years, trust me.

2. Talking to the Computer like it is a Person

Unlike Joaquin Phoenix falling in love with a computer, in the movie “Her” if ours were a person it would be a very difficult one.

Most of the time we are trying to reason very kindly with it, and going “ Oh I see” “Hmm” “Could it be…?” Then after a few glances from your already annoyed co-workers, it escalates to something like:

Why won’t it work? I did everything right. And then it gets louder. Why are you so slow? no wonder you are always getting called names.

Why aren’t you cooperating “YOU PIECE OF S#$%?”

But those are very extreme cases that happen only every 20 minutes.

It is complicated!

3. Write Angry Commit Messages

So after you get all worked up with your computer, and you get your solution to work, it is time to write a record of what went into the solution, and save your work(aka a commit message).

Some people then would be able to hide all the frustration they went through to get to this stage.

But why should you? Let’s throw those swear words in here too, cause, after all, it is just saved locally in your machine and nobody is going to see it right? Wrong!

4. Being Melodramatic in Code Reviews

Those who complain that men are brutes with no empathy or emotional depth for sure never read a code review from the men in their lives. Their true colours shine through once you understand the anguished soulful poems they can write about your code. It’s Beautiful!

Suddenly everything has a deeper meaning and how did you dare not take into considerations this or that suggestion? Was it just to hurt their feelings? Usually not. It just gets too complicated and isn’t even about the issue you sent for review in the first place, but pointing that out will only add offense to injury.

5. Build Full-fledged apps that look like Windows 95

that doesn’t even work correctly on Internet Explorer browsers.

Go Figure!

6. Issue Self-proclaimed Titles

Evangelists, UX, Full Stack, Masters, Seniors, Holistic — it can be fun things to name yourself as long as you are satisfied with it, but keep an eye on not getting stuck within the self-proclaimed ‘role’ instead of the team-wide responsibility that they represent.

Yes, Developers do that sometimes!

Here your loyalty lies in work first and ego last. It is imperative that we see those primary responsibilities through instead of getting stuck on only what these ‘words’ represent if we are not, in fact, exercising any of it, then they can become a harmful and toxic label for those around who notice it and a stagnant label disempowers, disenfranchise, and hurts you.

Bring on The Good News Evangelists!!!

7. Attend Hackathons

They are not fun. It’s like The Fashion Week for developers ( I was a photographer at those events a long time ago), it’s crazy hard work and very minimal gain for those who only attend but aren’t aware of the complex hierarchy at play here.

Take the last Hackathon that we took part in, the IKODE at IKEA Delft, and you realize that just like Fashion Week if you aren’t a Top Model or a Couture Designer, you are there making money for someone else and gaining very little or nothing in return for it.

It, being sometimes the fact the organizers could choose to use the stuff you created in the hackathon for free afterward, granted which is not always the case, still its always beneficial for them in more ways than one, because it works like a massive marketing campaign for their brand, every time.

Recruiting new talent at hackathons is becoming much less the norm nowadays, and that could be the main appeal for those looking out to hustle a job. That is not always the case at hackathons anymore, so check it beforehand, be smart and don’t kid yourself.

In essence, hackathons were meant to allow you and your team build something the group is passionate about making real. Ideally, they would be unique platforms for laser focus app building, and idea pitching, while still having a good time, doing something you are crazy in love. Again, I am always impressed by the amount of competitive hackathons companies, recruiters, meet up groups or even peers expect developers to attend with a smile. There will be no end to it.

Let’s be real, I can barely keep on top of my daily work as a novice and every spare moment goes into cementing or gaining the extra knowledge that would help me accomplish the tasks I have to get done. Let alone attend 5 Hackathons in a weekend. But I have to be there, as it could magically enhance my profile or up my virtual reach or impress my network? I know right now that it won’t.

Remaining employed is what will achieve that for now. Hackathons can wait, and you don’t have to feel like you are falling behind just because you don’t get to attend them.

Measure every ounce of energy that you have to give out and always pay yourself first. Learn to say no if you want to and move past it, sometimes throwing in a “Nope, I want to sleep, and I won’t feel guilty about it” a good enough answer.

8. Always Networking

Yes, you can admit it, it is tiresome. It can be a huge energy drainer, and I am not even an introvert, same as the hackathons, because you are now a developer, its expected of you to keep on doing it, Nope. Not today Satan!

However do keep in touch or seek out the people you need when you need it, there is no point using up all that already scarce energy into something that won’t bring you concrete results.

Just remember that once you will eventually need that new job or to launch that great idea that came to you in a dream, the harsh reality is, it doesn’t matter how many connections you have on LinkedIn. Naming names won’t get anything done for you. If you don’t what you capable of, nobody will give you anything.


So save yourself some time and don’t feel obliged into networking constantly. Life is a race, but not only one kind of competition, and the fastest can just go so far.

You will have to keep going at it all by yourself at first, so build resistance. However long that takes, be it a week, few months or years, but then you can engage people through that “network” of people you met and amassed during the time you were doing something that mattered.