By John Sonmez September 27, 2018

Teamwork & Introversion In Software Development

Teamwork is definitely one of the biggest factors that CEOs and managers take into account when analyzing their employees. Being able to be part of a team is definitely a key factor when it comes to taking the projects your company needs forward. Teamwork in software development?

So… What if you were an introvert? How could you possibly become a good team player if you consider yourself an introvert? Watch this video and find out!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. Hey, I just want to give a quick thanks to one of our sponsors at Simple Programmer which is DevMountain Bootcamp. You should go check them out. The link is in the description. They are a coding bootcamp and they can teach you web development, iOS development, UX design, a lot of good stuff. I get a lot of feedback from a lot of you out there that email me have told me about DevMountain, so I decided to check them out myself. I like what I found. I like their programs. They offer some 12-week intensive programs. They also offer some after-hours programs which I know that some of you will like. Go check them out. You can see the link in the description below, DevMountain Bootcamp. A big thank you to them for sponsoring Simple Programmer.

Let's talk about some introversion in software development. This is a topic I like to talk about because I like to say that we're not introverts or extroverts. We're contextually one or the other and I don’t like labels, but let's talk about this a little bit here. This is from an anonymous. From Anonymous. Question. Obviously, this is from anonymous because this is about introversion, right? Okay. “When on a job interview, should I hide my introverted personality and confess that I'm not a good team player if they bring the topic or should I fake it until I make it?” I think it's funny to like—how do you hide your introversion. You could hide the extroversion, but I don’t know if you can hide the introversion. That would look kind of weird. I don’t know how you do that. He says, “Could the technical skills and problem-solving mindset compensate my poor soft skills or they have to be leveraged? Are there companies who respect introverts and let people work on their own or the team player type personality is a must?”

He's got some more additional info here, but I really don't need to—I think we can look at it from a couple of things. The first thing I'm just going to say because it sticks out to me is, “Should I confess that I'm not a good team player if they bring up the topic.” No, no. Don't say you're not a good team player. Not a good move. Not a good move at all. Being super like—okay, being honest is important. Being genuine is important. Being more honest than necessary—revealing information you don't need to reveal that's harmful to you is not being honest. It's being too damn honest.
That's not lying, okay? You just don't have to like I don’t go to the grocery store, and when the checkout lady, when she's like, “Hey, how was your day?” I don’t say, “Man, I got a hemorrhoid. It's bothering me.” Right? I don't say that. She doesn’t need that info. TMI, Too Much Information. Doesn't need that information or I don't say, “Man, I got in a fight with my bestfriend.” I don’t like reveal all of that information. I don't reveal every single weakness that I have, right? I could go on with more details that would be too TMI, right? These are all fake details, by the way. Those would be TMI, but my point is this, is like when you're job interview, don't be like, “I'm not a good team player.”

In fact, this is what I'm going to tell you. Be a fucking good team player like there's no reason at all why you should hide behind this excuse of being an introvert. Now, whether you agree with me or not, I've done some videos on introverts versus extroverts and I think it's contextual. I don’t think—I think that if you take the right person, I think if you take the most introverted, nerdy guy and he's addicted to World of Warcraft, and you put him in a LAN party with a bunch of people playing World of Warcraft, that guy is going to be the most extroverted son of a bitch that you've ever seen. He's just going to be like all over the place screaming and yelling and having a good old time. Well, I'll add one more thing to the context, with his buddies who also play World of Warcraft, they're going to be cracking jokes. He's going to be having a good time. He's going to be extroverted in every sense of the world—of the word, of the World of Warcraft. Of the word, whatever. Tongue twister there.

I honestly think that, but that's beside the point. The point is this. You've got a glaring weakness and efficiency. You're trying to hide behind the mask of being an introvert. You're saying, “This is just who I am. I'm just an introvert. I'm just a shy guy. I hid behind this mask myself. This is why I'm telling you because I knew this because I said, ‘Hey. Well, I'm just not athletic. I'm just a shy guy. I'm not a good writer. I'm just lazy. I'm just not motivated.” These were things I told myself for many, many years.

Bullshit, bullshit. Total bullshit. It's not true. These things don't define me. I define me. I decide who I want to be. You know what those things were and what it is for you? It's a convenient fucking excuse that excuses you from improving and excuses you from doing what you need to do in life. There's nothing wrong with “being an introvert.” There's nothing wrong with the definition of getting your energy from being in solitude or being alone. It's a formal definition. Like I said, I disagree with it. I think it's contextual, but regardless. You don't have to agree with me in that point. There's nothing wrong with that, but there is something wrong with not learning the soft skills required to become a team player.

I've got a book obviously on soft skills called The Software Developer's Life Manual that you should definitely read. Definitely pick up this book for sure. Work on this stuff, okay? Don't say I'm not—don't fake it. Again, fake it until you make it is great, but that doesn’t mean that you just blatantly lie. It just means that—like here's what fake it until you make it means. You can check out my own video on fake it 'til you make it, but it essentially means this.

It says that you say, “Okay, I want to be a team player and I want to”—I mean I don't want to say I want to be an extrovert, but I have this vision of myself. I want to be a person who was soft skills and who is a team player, and who get along people and does well on the team. I like my solitude and I like to work alone. That's cool but I also want to have this attribute. I want to be this. I'm going to start being that part. I'm going to start faking it 'til I make it. I'm just going to start acting that way and being positive about this, and thinking of myself as a team player and honestly believing that and playing that part as an actor until it becomes reality. That's fake it 'til you make it. Fake it 'til you make it is not bullshitting someone and saying—when they say, “Are you a team player?” you say, “Yeah. I'm a great team player. Awesome. At the same time, don't say, “I suck at being a team player. Just say like—committing your mind already that you're going to be a good team player, so then you can honestly answer and say, “Yes, yes. I'm not perfect, but I enjoy working on a team and I I'm constantly working on becoming a better team player, and I've made a lot of improvements,” and, you know, all these things that you're on that path.

Don't cop out. Don't say, “Oh, it's not for me. I'm just an introvert.” Don't hide behind these masks and these identities. You define who you are. Decide who you want to be and develop these skills. Develop the soft skills. That's going to be very, very important in your career. You're not going to get very far in your career or you're going to be very limited in your career if you don't develop soft skills, and you got to become a team player. Everything in life requires being a team player. Everything worthwhile in life that you're going to achieve that's going to make any kind of impact on your career or your life is going to require you working with other people. You might as well develop and learn those skills.
You can still go in your cave and read your book, and work on your project by yourself and get your alone time. I'm totally cool with that. I do that myself sometimes, but it's not an excuse. You can't hide in your cave forever. All right. I hope that helps you. If you have a question for me, you can always me at john@simpleprogrammer.com. If you haven't subscribed already, click that Subscribe button and click that bell so you don't miss any videos that come out here on this channel. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."