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Are We Professional Developers – Or Amateurs

Today’s not going to be a long post, but short and not just a bit provocative. It’s something that’s been on my mind for quite some time. It’s the question of professionalism as developers and whether we are or not.

Do we know what professionalism is? Do we have a clear benchmark of what professionalism is, so that we know that we’re living up to the standard and our peers can hold us up to it when we, as humans, fail from time to time.

Professionalism is many things, but prime amongst them is not just technical skills, it’s how we apply them. It’s walking the walk and not just talking the talk. Do we live what we preach or just shout about it at any given opportunity?

  • Do we constantly educate ourselves and apply that to what we do?
  • Do we help pass that knowledge on to others in our community, whether they’re more or less educated than ourselves?
  • Do we have our applications reviewed by our peers?
  • Do we get constructive feedback on what we’ve done so far?
  • Do we communicate professionally, clearly, promptly and reliably?
  • Do we help others have the opportunities that we’ve had?
  • Do we give of our best, even if we don’t want to be there?
  • Do we pay attention to all the details, not just the sexy and fun ones that we’re interested in?
  • Do we consider situations based on a variety of factors, both technical, personal, strategic, emotional and so on?
  • Do we understand the impact of us and our approach to the outcome of the situation and the project?
  • Do we share what we know in an open, honest and considered way?
  • Do we blog, tweet and share on platforms to get the knowledge out there?

What is your reaction to the above? Do you have a breadth as well as depth of skills? How are you ensuring that you’re a professional developer and do you help others be professional?