Honesty and its great consequences

I always try to be honest, it’s not easy but it is worth it. In this post I’d like to focus on being honest as a software developer and why it’s necessary if you want to be professional.

Honesty with deadlines

Every time someone asks you about how long would take to do a task think very carefully, think about all the subtasks, all the subtle details that won’t come right away to your mind, think about the possible deviations doubt to things you don’t know. Research if you have to use something you are not very used to, like a new API or create diagrams to measure the size of the system.

After all that process, calculate the time it will take you to do every subtask and add a realistic margin.

If don’t finish the task by the deadline you can always apologize but at least you didn’t lie in the first place, and after a few times you’ll probably be able to finish it in time because your deadlines will be more realistic.

Honesty with expectations about a project or a feature

Sometimes your boss will ask you about a new feature that could be great if it’s well implemented, scalable, and does not contain bugs. The problem is sometimes that’s impossible with a certain deadline on the table. When that happens, be honest, think about the consequences of simplify it and ask that person if it’s possible.

If that feature or project works well then you can implement more complex things.

Honesty about your knowledge

It’s almost impossible to keep up with all the technologies that are coming out these days. When you have to use something new for you, just say it. Say that it will take you some days (or weeks) to get used to that, and try to be honest about the deadlines if you are required to use that.

Sometimes someone will ask you to use a new thing, just because it’s a new thing, and most of the times you can use a tool you already know, requiring much less time for finishing it.

Extra: Honesty in life

This is kind of extra since it’s not related with being a software developer, but I thought it would be nice to have it.

It’s very difficult to be two different persons at the same time. I’m not able to not be honest at home and be honest when I come in to the office. I try to be honest in my life, about meetings with friends, about the time I can spend with someone, and when I’m working it feels natural to me just being the way I am with my friends.

To sum up, be honest and it will be worth it, you’ll be more respected and people will trust you the next time you commit to do something.