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Being a Professional

Two completely unrelated items got me thinking today.

The first item described an artist selling her creations at an art fair. She wouldn't take credit cards and she was ambivalent about shipping an item, even when the purchaser offered a FedEx number. Clearly, she was more focused on being an artist than she was on business of selling her art.

The second item shows what happens when software developers don't develop a repeatable process for setting up a developer's project environment, either for a new developer or if an existing system has to be rebuilt. With software development, it is easy for undocumented dependencies to creep into a project. These issues can siphon away valuable time and resources.

How are these items related? Both of these items remind me of the importance of professionalism in any business, even software development.

Even though the first item didn't have anything to do with software, it still raises the same point. There are certain skills or tasks that must be learned or performed in any business to be successful. This artist may be good at creating art, but unless she makes it easy for customers to purchase her works she may never be successful.

Software developers (especially custom software developers) must do more than just write software to be successful. We must take our professionalism seriously. This includes utilizing professional tools like version control software, and issue tracking databases. It also includes documenting dependencies and keeping our skills current. And we must be able to communicate effectively with our peers, our customers/users, and our managers.

Software developers who forget this will never be very successful.

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Avonelle is a talented expert in her field. She has blended well with our team and built applications that we are proud to deploy to our associates. Her talents helped us execute a vision expediently and with quality. If we could do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing.

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