Sharing your LEGOs as a Software Developer

Photo by Firos nv on Unsplash

Don’t clench too hard on your vision, ideas, features, or improvements on your product.

As a kid, we always dreaded sharing our toys with others. It was ours and ours alone. No one at times not even our siblings or parents had right over it. We had a sense of attachment to our toys, something very personal that even despite our parent's request, we wouldn’t share it with our guests less so with someone of our age.

As we grew older, we outgrew our toys (though I’m still scared my mom would throw away my Pokemon Jenga collection). We started sharing our toys and collections with others and we found a different joy in using that as a medium to find like-minded people with very little effort just by sharing it.

Yet, as I grew older, I chose a new toy, a new LEGO, my ideas, my visions, features, and even the entire product were mine. I dreaded sharing my codes, my thoughts, my vision, building block of product with others simply because it was mine. I held onto it hard and kept working towards it without taking a second opinion or even empathizing with my end-user. It took me a while to understand what I was doing wrong. I was running a marathon alone with my own underlying assumptions about the ground reality. Restricted by my own boundaries and unwilling to take in external feedback, ideas, thoughts, and visions, I was running to lose.

Don’t get me wrong, your ideas, visions are your intellectual property and they are yours. But building a product is exponentially harder and has a very high probability of failure when only you know what the end goal looks like. Share your vision with people you trust. Connect often with your end-users, share your ideas with like-minded people, I’m sure you’ll receive an angle, a dimension you wouldn’t have even considered. Sharing your ideas and thought processes will bring you satisfaction towards your work in the long run especially when you take others with you through the journey.

For me personally, it was easy to be cocooned in and just be myself and not be vulnerable to “outside” feedbacks. But I feel better, now that there are people willing to journey with me and share the same vision and work towards it.

Letting go of your LEGO is equally important as sharing it. As you grow, you might step further and further from the core team. You will be in constant touch but your priorities will change, your KPIs will change, your vision will be more encompassing and maybe you’ll have to let go of what you like (could be coding, R&D, PoC) to open up yourself for a new path and maybe even a new set of LEGOs and perhaps use it to build a Star Wars UCS Millennium Falcon ;)

Data Scientist @Royal Dutch Shell | Deep Learning | NLP | TensorFlow 2.0 | Python | Astrophysics ❤

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