Do you really wanna be a hero?


This past Monday, I attended SocialFresh in Charlotte. I typically don’t spend a lot of time in the social media space, but a number of my clients are wanting to “get started” in the social media space. For me and my company, it makes sense to learn the basics and then pull in the smart people when I need them.

There were a number of very good sessions, but there was one on Twitter (how can you have a social media conference without making verbal love to Twitter? ) and there was a statement made that transcends all aspects of life:

Experience does not equate to expertise

How true is that statement in your surroundings? I’ve known a number of good people that have been writing code for years but could not code their way out of a paper bag that was used to hold a fresh hot Philly cheesesteak.

Why is that? In my opinion, it’s the hero complex.

You know the type of person. Everyone in upper management loves this person. These people can never do any wrong. They are considered indispensable. They are consistently pulling all-nighters and fixing things right up until the last second before a major release, but they always pull it out, even if it take a couple of weeks of another team cleaning up after this person.

Why is this?

Because they have a lot of experience, but not a lot of expertise. They know enough to not be very dangerous but not enough to do a competent job without causing a lot of stress to themselves and the others around them.

As my friend DaVon would say, “Don’t shout me down because I’m preaching good!”

Many of the speakers at NFJS Raleigh also echoed this sentiment. Is this a harsh statement? Yeah, it probably is. However, if this person is allowed to continue in this manner, this will affect the productivity of the team and in return damage the bottom line. People will get grumpy. How do I know this?

I’ve played the hero role a few times during my career.

In retrospect, it’s probably one of the most detrimental things that can be done to a team. Hopefully I’ll never go back down that road again. If I do and you’re on a team with me, please let me know so I can jerk the slack out of myself.

Onto the NFJS wrapup, one word. . .wow. I’ve never been to a NFJS event before. It was really nice to be at a conference where there wasn’t verbal vomit from vendors. There were a few speakers there that were from vendors, but that’s not why they were there. They were really giving out some serious content that was worth much more than I paid.

Here are a number of takeaways that I have for myself:

  • Setup a GitHub account
  • Setup a blog for my corporate site
  • Create an account for Google App Engine
  • Start using FindBugs, PMD and Crap4J again on a regular basis
  • Review
  • Investigate Capistrano
  • Investigate Chef

This should keep me busy this week along with all the other client work that has to be completed. I’m also starting work with an open source project this week and hopefully I’ll be able to give you more info on it later in the week.

As always, I’m looking for any questions that you have about iPhone development. I’ll be starting the video production later this week and the videos will be posted over at the corporate blog.

I’m going to try to make this blog a little more personal and the corporate blog really technical. If you want to read both, you’ll get a very interesting insight into who I really am.