Cynicism vs. Experience

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One output of experience is an ever-increasing list of things that caused you pain in the past. Because you are not a monster, you want to save other people pain. When you see them doing things that caused you pain, you warn them.

Be experienced, not cynical.

Everyone gains experience and, as a leader, peer, or generally nice person, passes on those experiences to others.  

It's important, as Jamison points out in his article, to focus on being rational and contextual in our disdain for {technology X}.  

We all have preferred tools, methodologies, and ideals, but that rarely means the other available choices are bad--it simply means that they didn't meet your requirements for the task.  It may not have been the right functionality or architecture fit OR it could be the development team--who's skill in {technology X} weren't as good as they were in {technology A}.


If you don't share experience with others, your effectiveness will never scale beyond your own efforts. If you impart your battle scars on others without considering the circumstances in which they were inflicted, people who believe you will miss out on awesome things. The challenge of the experienced developer is to pass on wisdom without passing on dogma, but most developers think their personal experience should be enshrined as a best practice.


The difference between saying "I used X and it sucked" and "I used X for Y and it didn't work out because of Z" is the difference between becoming experienced and simply growing cynical.

  • pragmatic
  • experience
  • cynical
author photo - David Longnecker by David Longnecker

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