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Hi and welcome back to Weekly Dev Tips. I’m your host Steve Smith, aka Ardalis.

This is episode 45 on working alone with a mystery guest.

Working Alone Show Notes / Transcript

This week's show was recorded on 1 April 2019 with a special guest who has chosen to remain anonymous.

I'm a developer with a regular day job, but at night I do freelance work in the shadows. I mostly right wrongs committed (to source control) by other developers, so the people who use their software can sleep better at night. I work alone, and have a secret identity to protect those closest to me. And because I signed a strict employee agreement with my day job and I don't want them to find out about my moonlighting activities.

My tip to other developers: work alone. After years of working with other team members, I can tell you it's for the best. My team members at my day job are like my personal nemesis. There's this one guy who doesn't take the work seriously enough. He refuses to follow team conventions. Half the time it seems like he's intentionally trying to blow up our code. He should probably consider changing roles to testing. I'm constantly fighting with this joker.

Then there's another dev I work with - I swear he thinks writing impossible to understand code is his ticket to job security. Most of the code he writes, even if it 'works', is like a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. I think he gets a kick out of seeing if the other developers on the team can figure out his clever code. I don't have time for his games.

When I'm not fighting with these two, it seems like as soon as I'm able to add a cool feature to our code, we're closing in on a ship date and the product manager puts a freeze on new features. If 'Mr. Freeze,' as we call him, weren't involved, I'm sure I could get a few more features into the product for each version.

Even when I'm not having to deal with this group, I have to compete with another dev who thinks he's a gift to the team. I think he prefers to work alone, too, or at least he doesn't like to work with me. His work is always superb, which grates on me partly out of jealousy, but also because when he's out sick (he has really bad allergies), there's nobody but me to stand against the rest of the team.

At night, working alone, I can do my best work. Hiding behind a bitmask, I knock out issues in client projects before they see me coming. I don't always follow the rules, but I get the job done. I may not always deliver the code teams want, but I give them the code they deserve.

Ok... well thanks for that tip... uh...

I'm batdev Show Resources and Links

That’s it for this week. If you want to hear more from me, go to ardalis.com/tips to sign up for a free tip in your inbox every Wednesday. I'm also streaming programming topics on twitch.tv/ardalis most Fridays at noon Eastern Time. Thank you for subscribing to Weekly Dev Tips, and I'll see you next week with another great developer tip.

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