Several months ago I gave a lightning-talk at Jama Software about “The Clean Coder: A Code of Conduct for Professional Programmers”, a book on professionalism for software engineers by Robert C. Martin (Uncle Bob) that is a follow up to his classic book “Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship”.
At Jama, our engineering group holds lightning talks once per sprint (every 2 weeks), where anyone in the organization invited to present on any topic (though they usually have a technical bent) for four minutes and forty seconds. This event serves as a great way to share individual areas of continuous learning. Given these constraints, this lightning talk just served to introduce the main premise of the book, and underscore one part that I thought was particularly useful and salient to my fellow software engineers.
The Clean Coder discusses the soft skills that a software development professional needs in order to be successful in their line of work. These topics range with how to deal with conflicts, schedule pressures, management issues, to time-management and gumption traps. All this to help answer the question of how we can keep not only our code clean, but the interpersonal interactions surrounding it.
The topic I chose to focus on for the balance of the lightning talk was Martin’s discussion of the importance of saying “No”, especially within the context of planning software projects.