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Last week I visited in Milan an art exhibition on Francis Bacon, "the last of the great 20th century masters in painting".

Together with his paintings, attached to the walls there were quotes taken from some interviews and one really made me think:

I think an awful lot of creation is made out of, also, the self-criticism of an artist, and very often I think probably what makes one artist seem better than another his that his critical sense is more acute. It may not be that he is more gifted in any way but just that he has a better critical sense.

He was a painter so obviously he was talking about artists, but you can replace the word "artist" with "developer", "architect" or "writer" and the sentence will still be true: it applies to almost all jobs that involve some kind of creative process, like development, designing architecture of applications, writing tech articles and blog posts.

Don't just implement the first design you come out with, but try and refine looking at it from different angles before to start writing code.
Don't just release the first piece of code you come out with, but do a self review and try to make it clearer and better.
The best developers/architects are the ones that always criticized their own work in order to make it better.

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posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 5:35 PM

Comments on this entry:

# re: The most important quality of a developer: Self-criticism

Left by Si Philp at 4/3/2008 9:24 AM

Completely agree with the self criticism. If it's not code then it's design, whereby I get slated to bits but hey, it's all a learning curve.

The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Albert Einstein.

# re: The most important quality of a developer: Self-criticism

Left by Simone at 4/3/2008 9:54 AM

Interest in learning is another important factor.
These so-called "soft skills" are the more important than tech skill themselves.

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