No one gets to where they’re at in their careers completely alone. The wisdom, advice, and guidance we all pick up from others along the way contribute to the type of people we become in the workplace.
Since January is National Mentor Month, a few of our staff are sharing some of the best advice they’ve received from mentors throughout their careers.
It’s hard to write clever code, but it’s even harder to debug clever code. So if you write the cleverest code you can write, you’ll be stuck when you debug it, never mind how difficult it will be for the next person that has to see it. Simplicity—not cleverness—is the marker of great code.
As a novice, I thought being successful meant writing very complex code, for it was the most challenging. Thanks to that, I changed my measure of success and grew way faster as a new developer.
(Noah Rhee, Consultant)
Stop comparing yourself to other developers. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses.
This made me realize that I bring skills to a team that others don’t have. Also, I can and should continue to grow every day, but I don’t have to know everything to be a good contributor.
(Ayre Cooney, Consultant)
Don’t let your right-ness make you wrong.
No matter how “right” I am, it doesn’t matter at all if I don’t represent it well, and I weaponize it for my own benefit. Even when someone attacks my idea disrespectfully, responding correctly is more important than my need to be right.
Keeping this advice top of mind has made me a better listener, leader, and practitioner of my faith. It also allowed my ideals to seep beneath the surface of those I came alongside rather than ramming my way through their objections. It’s been a game-changer and is one of the traits I admire most when I see it in others—when the pressure and attacks come, we respond in love instead of reciprocating bad behavior.
(Travis Dietz, Owner)
The best advice I got from a mentor was to learn Kanban. At the time, all I knew about "agile" software development was Scrum. Learning Kanban was a life and career-changing event as a software developer, an agile coach, and even how I approach work in general in everyday life.
(Phil Ledgerwood, Owner)
Don’t overcomplicate it.
I know this is one everyone has heard, but I mean it when I say that I have to tell myself this multiple times a day, every day. Whether I’m writing copy for an ad, designing a flyer, or translating an interaction with someone, I constantly need reminding to not overcomplicate it.
Especially in writing, the simplest way you can make it (while still remaining accurate) is always the best way to go. But the simplest way is often left behind when you start overthinking and overcomplicating it.
(Kora Cameron, Marketing & Brand Communications Specialist)
Do any of these sound familiar to you? Leave the best career advice you’ve received in the comments below!