My idea of professionalism continually changes.
As an entry level developer I thought professional meant:
- talking incessantly about technology (hiding my personal life behind shop talk)
- dressing up for my cubical (wearing polyester dress pants, cotton dress shirts to work, and occasionally ties)
- focusing on things that can be proven (giving little concern to interpersonal relationships or the general untestable messiness surrounding softskills)
- writing the FASTEST CODE EVER (I was sidtracked with premature optimizations)
- I tried to be a programming machine (working 29 hours a day)
- becoming a Microsoft Most Valueable Professional (MVP)
Those ideas were skewed and I was running the risk of becoming a bit of a douche.
Today I think professionalism means:
- being comfortable in your own skin
- being able to delegate tasks within a team
- being an effective member of a team (not participating in gossip, back talk, or other activities that erode a team)
- being transparent
- maintaining a work / life balance
- choosing the best tool for the task
It’s funny how experience can change perspectives. I wonder what my definition of professionalism will be in five years?