My guiding principles after 20 years of programming

🇨🇳 FLMN kindly translated this to Chinese here.
🇪🇸
Manuel Conde kindly translated this to Spanish here.
🇷🇺 apprently it is translated to Russian
here.

I’ve been programming since 1999 and this year I’ve officially coded for 20+ years. I started with Basic but soon jumped into Pascal and C and then learned object oriented programming (OOP) with Delphi and C++. In 2006 I started with Java and in 2011 I started with JavaScript. I’ve worked with a wide range of businesses from robotics, fin tech, med tech to media and telecom. Sometimes I had a different hat as a researcher, CTO, TPM (technical product manager), teacher, system architect or TL (technical leader) but I’ve always been coding. I’ve worked on some products that served millions of people, and some that failed before being released. I worked as a consultant and I even had my own startup. I have spent lots of time on open source projects, closed source projects and internally open source projects (proprietary code that is developed by a community inside the company). I’ve worked with tiny microcontrollers all the way to mobile and desktop apps to cloud servers and lately serverless.

For my 20 years programming anniversary, I tried to list the top principles that have been accumulated over the years as my guiding principles through my career:

  1. Don’t fight the tools: libraries, language, platform, etc. Use as much native constructs as possible. Don’t bend the technology, but don’t bend the problem either. Pick the right tool for the job or you’ll have to find the right job for the tool you got.

I don’t claim to be an authority in software development. These are just the wisdom I earned along the way. I’m sure this list will be more mature after another 20 years.

Did you like what you read? Follow me here or on LinkedIn. I write about technical leadership and web architecture. If you want to translate or republish this article, here’s a quick guide.

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Update

Somehow this went to No 3 on HackerNews in March 2022! The comments here and on HackerNews both are great inspiration and contain some gems for learning. Programming Wisdom also published some nuggets.

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