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bio website philosopherdeveloper.com
location San Francisco, CA
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visits member for 3 years, 9 months
seen May 15 at 16:12

Author of The Philosopher Developer (my blog), Lazy.js, Autodoc, and SafeYAML, among others.

GitHub: dtao
Twitter: @dan_tao
SoundCloud: dantao

I’m a software developer currently residing in San Francisco. I work at Google on the Ads Review team. Previously I worked at Cardpool, and before that ThoughtWorks (and before that, a real-time trading company in Philadelphia that no one’s ever heard of).

I studied philosophy at Duke University, then a couple of years later went to Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley for a graduate degree in software engineering (hence the name of this blog). In between I lived with my wife in Namibia for a year through WorldTeach, an organization that places volunteer teachers in developing countries around the world.

One of the principles I believe in most strongly is that there’s really no place for arrogance in this world. Living in Silicon Valley, I can’t help but feel that most of us in this industry are encouraged to forget that. The culture here is one seemingly designed to inflate egos and reward self-importance. Having said that, I realize that I’m guilty of it from time to time as well. So let this serve as my perpetual apology for ever letting my head get too big, or acting like I know what I’m talking about.


Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
@Beth: That was someone else's decision (our boss). If Chris had it his way I'm pretty sure Adam would be off the team. Adam actually produces good stuff from the user's perspective. I just have this fear that his code is going to be very difficult for the rest of us to understand or contribute to.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
I like this idea a lot. Thanks.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
You raise an excellent point. Honestly, it hadn't occurred to me to see the situation in this way, and I think the reason is that Chris doesn't actually make much of an effort to teach the other developers. Sometimes I think he's more interested in telling them why they're wrong than showing them how to be right. Maybe I can convince him to give me a shot at filling that role.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
This sounds great, but I have to ask: how exactly do you achieve this? Getting them to ask you questions, I mean.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
I have to give you +1 for pointing out my obvious failure to stand up to Chris as I should have (of course, Adam and Brian really should do so as well). It's clear that I inaccurately portrayed myself as a team lead in my original post; I've updated the question to clarify that I am not in a leadership position on this team (though I feel I am respected as probably the most knowledgable member). Nonetheless, I feel your points are quite valuable and can probably be adapted somewhat to my circumstances. I'll think on this answer some more.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
Ha, I probably should have indicated from the beginning that I'm not the team lead; Chris is. So, as you can imagine, that last part is probably not the best idea in my case (though it is tempting sometimes).
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
This definitely makes sense. How is this normally implemented? As rotating pairs? I guess my biggest concern with this idea is that everybody would always dread being paired with Chris.
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
@fletcher: I've seen Adam on the site before. I am pretty sure none of them has an account, though. I wish they did; this site could probably do more good for them than I ever could. Come to think of it, maybe that should be my first order of business...
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
@David Thornley: I guess that's a fair point, but where should it go then? There is no "TeamOverflow" that I'm aware of. Besides, I value the input of the SO community specifically, and posted this question because I was confident I'd get good answers from good developers who've found themselves in similar situations (even if the question could be generalized further).
Aug
17
comment How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?
@Raj: Should it? I kind of thought that community wiki was for "What's your favorite X?" questions and the like -- that is, totally subjective questions where answers are mostly expressing users' opinions rather than helping the OP solve a problem. Maybe I've misunderstood the spirit of community wiki?
Aug
17
asked How do you educate your teammates without seeming condescending or superior?