A Super Heroes Guide To Development – 2. Super Powers

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2. Super Powers

Most Super Heroes have at least one special Ability. Something that helps to set them apart. Give them an edge.

The Flash. He’s easy. Speed .. baby, and lots of it.

The Hulk. Super Strength.

Daredevil, Spidey .. they’ve got agility, plus some kind of "Sense".

Supes can fly. So can Storm.

Xavier’s telepathic. As is Jean Grey.

The list goes on. And on.

Do you have a simple grasp of your own abilities?

Some of us might remember Roger Ramjet .. What a wonderful carton. Anyway .. what was his signature power, apart from gross stupidity?

The Proton Energy Pill! It’s a simple example of a clear understanding. As a kid, you knew that Roger couldn’t defeat the evil boss without swallowing the Proton Energy Pill first. It gave him 20 seconds of unrivalled power.

Maybe you can understand cryptology and security better than anyone else. Perhaps it’s your ability to stubbornly refuse to give up. Or that you can see to the heart of the matter at hand, if it be technical, or in terms of business. Maybe you can be true to a single vision. You might be able to juggle multiple jobs.

There are lots of skills and abilities in the world of Development.

Look at Bill Gates. Maybe we could code better than him. Or even envisage an OS that took Windows to the cleaners. But it seems to me that he played to his strengths. Sure, a lot of folk got burned in the process, but Bill Gates knew his abilities. He took hold of opportunity, having a vision. Some people probably thought he was crazy. But even including Google, Bill Gates has yet to be rivaled in terms of his singular success.

Do we dream of mediocrity? Lameness? A half-assed program?

No. We want awesomeness in a bottle. We want to become better and better at whatever it is we do.

And the other side is just as important.

Superman was a hero with many cool powers. But as we all know, Kryptonite made him as weak as a baby. It made him less than a super hero. It was his one weakness.

Know your Kryptonite!

Listing weaknesses wouldn’t be a smart thing to do, since noone likes negativity.

So here goes ..

– Too quick to dismiss another’s opinion, even if it’s wrong
– Too worried about what people think of you
– You can’t let that kind of character assassination go without a fight
– You assassinate people’s characters without hesitation
– Too easily fired up, on the forums, newsgroups, emails .. or even on your blog (heh heh)

But you know .. the biggest weakness in Software Development (really, none of the previous items matter in the light of this) is that we lack passion. We are too scared to jump in a learn new things.

Two years ago I had less than a sheeps dropping idea about real desktop development. I had bashed together some stuff myself .. but it was out of pure imagination rather than knowledge.

Now, I can truly say I’ve worked on some kicking applications.

And I know that in another year my current code now will scare the willies out of me. But that’s cool, really. I like that I’m getting better all the time, and I like that I can continue to learn.

It’s just plain wisdom that when you come to a better understanding of yourself, you can grow. You can increase your powers, enhance your abilities, and even get new abilities .. eliminating weaknesses.

Know your Proton Energy Pill! And know your Kryptonite!

Exercise your huge biceps, your fab abs, make sure your cape gets flight time.

When you know your Super Powers, show them to the world. Get them out there. It’s not enough to simply have them. You have to make them known. Put the ladies on display. As Ron Burgundy says in Anchorman, Give people two tickets to the gun show.