Lone wolves or night owls, that's how you usually describe your friendly neighborhood developer. He doesn't travel in packs and usually you'll find him sitting at a desk tipping his fingers off on some piece of code that is either to stubborn to run or he has an idea he wants to get of his mind, because as you may know most developers are brilliant geniuses.
But why are developers so afraid of the outside world? Well my guess, as somebody on the inside, is that we don't actually like how this world works and we're not on the same page with current generations.
Ok, but at some point in our developer lives we need to interact with other people, either for some advice, or for some food. I mean what developer doesn't like food? Right? No, just me? Well, eventually we end up using social media outlets to get information, because nowadays everybody is connected in one way or another.
Off topic: I recommend a super funny comic by super awesome comic designer Pablo Stanley (opens new window) on the Pros and Cons of dating a Programmer, that you can find here (opens new window). I guess it's a little bit related to the topic.
And so we find ourselves using a bunch of social media services just because we need help with something, we need more information on something or we have to develop something using a specific API from a social media service.
Whatever maybe the case, we're "forced" to use a social service. Ok, you might say, but it's everyone's choice if they join or not, and you would be absolutely right. But what if your boss comes into your office one day and says you need to join a social service in order to test a certain feature you embedded in your web application. What then? Do you risk losing you job because you ignored a task? No! You either postpone the task for an infinite amount of time, do the old switcheroo with a colleague or you just quit (You always wanted to be your own boss right?).
Social media and developers should be like oil and water, you can add one to the other, but they will never mix into a homogeneous liquid.
On one hand you, as a developer, you can get help, news and information about stuff you're interested in and on the other hand you can get lost in all that stuff that is out there and you could lose your focus on things.
There should be a fine balance between work and social media. Spending too much time away from your projects might have a bad impact on who you are as a developer.
I'm not saying don't socialize, I'm just saying, try to find some stability when you use the social mediums. I see a lot of developers these days that spend a whole lot of time using the social media outlets. Yes, you can make yourself know, but you also spend time away from your projects, maybe important projects, that are the result of great ideas.
If you have one eye on Twitter and one eye on Sublime Text, your focus is automatically split in half, and your productivity drops considerably. From my point of view (Wait, what was I reading until now?), having a social media presence has its benefits but you should always remember that there should be a balance between being a focused, productive developer and being a well know developer. Not all well-known developers are good developers.
I guess that's it for this article, a little shorter than usual but hey, it's the second one in just two days. Let me know what are your thoughts about this topic in the comments.
Are you a fan of the social media?
Until next time, code long and prosper!