Posts To Err Is Human
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To Err Is Human

I’ve invested (as a hobby) many years in trying to learn more about human psychology (in general) as an extension to the many years I’ve spent studying violent behavior as part of my martial arts studies.

In doing so, I’ve come to understand that there are behaviors that are very common yet distasteful and relatively easy to fix.

This brings me to a recent interaction I noticed in an online conversation where there was a lot of back and forth in an effort to resolve an issue that was encountered. Code that was working in C# wasn’t working when converted to VB. One of the Roslyn team members chimed in to explain that the feature wouldn’t work in VB “because he is the one who implemented in in C# and didn’t do the same in VB”. However, as the conversation continued someone noticed that the conversion was faulty.

So far so good, but it is at this point that the passively “toxic” behavior presented itself.

Rather than accept that the conversion was faulty (mistakes were made) and simply thanking the person for their observation (and fix), deflection and excuses kicked in (but not by me).

If you make a mistake, OWN IT!

Don’t make excuses. It’s that simple.

We, as developers, will make mistakes again and again. It’s all part of the process. It’s something that can’t be avoided, nor should it. It is these mistakes that leads us to better understanding…

Experience is the thing you get after you need it.

Don’t try to deflect the problem as being “due to something else”. Let’s be clear… not paying attention to which word you selected due to “Intellisense” picking the wrong thing is not the fault of the tool… it’s the fault of the person at the keyboard.

Even worse, don’t try to hide this deflection/excuses in amongst what you think may be positive comments. Negative behavior is still negative behavior regardless of how much you try to put a positive spin around it. People can see through this.

So what should we do? Simple. Accept that we are going to make mistakes. If someone else is responsible for pointing out those mistakes, THANK THEM! Don’t make excuses. Gain the experience by learning from these mistakes. Grow.

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.