By September 19, 2019


Being humans (unlike the robots some people think we are), programmers are emotional creatures too.

Today I would like to discuss with you why you should learn how to control your emotions as a programmer, and some skills you must develop to improve this master skill.

First, jobs and tasks that are given to us as programmers (or ones we assign ourselves) often involve high levels of logical thinking and reasoning. Most programming is a purely logical task. We do not want emotions to come and take us off the logical path.

When emotions come into play, it can take a decision that should be 100 percent logical and make it part emotional and part logical. In some cases it can be even worse: it can take a fully logical decision and make it fully emotional.

Take a look at this example: Bob, the senior engineer, is in charge of building out the payment system for Antonio Inc.’s backend. His part of the application is due at the end of the week, but he just heard that his girlfriend of three years cheated on him. This sends him into an emotional downward spiral. This causes him to lose focus at work, make poor engineering decisions (like not making a fully secure payment system), and makes him procrastinate, finishing his piece of the backend.

If he were purely logical in his decision-making, he would have been able to focus with no problem, and Bob would be able to make the proper sustainable engineering decisions necessary to support the application over the long term. However, if he kept making poor decisions, this could potentially affect his future at the company. This is a situation in which emotional control is crucial for success in your career as a programmer. #softskills #developer #programming

If you can learn to take control of your emotions and not let your emotions control you, then you can spend way more time producing and being a happier programmer and person overall.

Transcript Of The Video

Antonio Cucciniello: Four reasons why mastering your emotions as a programmer is important right now.

Hey guys, Antonio here. Being able to control your emotions, as anyone, is a superpower, but why specifically for programmers? I'd like to get into four different reasons. The first one is that you become more productive. Think about this. If you aren't constantly bothered by the events that happen every single day, like you getting cut off on your commute, or a little bickering with another coworker, what happens? You are allowed to now take all that energy you would have wasted on focusing on all that other stuff, and now you can put it towards code, productive code that you are going to build. Maybe you can create something new. Instead of getting bothered by why Trump got elected three years ago, instead, now you're focused on making your code better, and getting more done in each of your sprints. So how does this help you? If you get more done, that means you'll get more done for the company.

Now, if the company beats their own milestones, and make some more money, guess what? You're going to start making some more money too. Anything that saves a company time and money is highly valuable to them. So if you can do either of those by managing your own emotions, and producing more, you'll be more valuable to them. Second, you'll have more experience than other developers. If you work for four focused hours of the day, while your other coworkers are completely bothered by small events, and they only work three hours a day, at the end of the year, you have, I don't know, if I did the math right, 250 hours that you have gotten more real coding experience done than all the rest of your coworkers. You will now become a leader.

In order to lead others, you must learn to lead yourself. And you can't lead yourself if you're constantly bothered by small stuff that happens every single day. And even the big stuff. When they come in and they fully bother you, that hurts your code and your productivity, and you can't manage yourself. So how are you supposed to manage other people? So if you can manage your own emotions, then now you can level up and start managing those of other people. And when you manage those of other people, guess what? You get a promotion, you get a raise, you make more money, all good things. That helps you move up from junior, to senior, to VP to CTO, whatever it is.

The third benefit is having more fun at your job. Think about this. You caused the bug, a huge security bug in your system.

Homer Simpson:
Ah, it's my problem! We're doomed!

Someone who gets emotionally bothered is going to sit there and worry, “Oh no, I got affected, and I'm going to lose my job. Oh no. Oh no.” Other people, who aren't emotionally bothered by this, will then focus solely, and logically on what they need to do. And instead of complaining to all their other coworkers, what they're going to do is solve the problem. Not only that, you're going to be in a better mood and happier at your job. And when you're in a better mood, and when you're happier, other people like being around that kind of person, they don't like being around the person that's always worried. The person that's always angry, the person that's always blaming other people and complaining, no one likes that. So by removing yourself as one of those people, you now get to get along with your coworkers more. And guess what? If your coworkers like you, they're not going to get rid of you, so you have more job security than anyone else.

Lastly, if you can manage your own emotions, then you will always look at problems as opportunities, and areas to find solutions, rather than problems. What happens here is that by being able to manage your emotions, you can take the negativity out of a situation and see how can I make this better? And if you have that mindset towards every single one of your projects, I bet you, I bet you the world that you will get a raise, that you will be worth more than all the other developers that might sit there and complain, because this problem is hard, or this is something that can't be done. Instead, have the mindset that it can be done, and keep working until you find it. That's what comes from managing your own emotions.

Now, I didn't want to leave you out to dry without actually helping you manage your own emotions. Take out a notebook right now. Write down how you feel, in this moment, for two minutes. Writing about how you feel makes you more aware of how you feel in the moment. After doing this consistently, and I'm talking for months, for two minutes a day, for months, what happens is is you start to realize your emotions as they're happening. And you catch yourself. Antonio, you're being angry again. Antonio, you're worrying again. And when you start doing that, what do you realize? That you can stop the emotion right then and there. You control them. If you guys enjoyed this video, please leave us a thumbs up, and subscribe, and we'll catch you all in the next one. Peace.

About the author

Antonio Cucciniello

Antonio truly believes that if you want to take control of your life you must go take action. If you believe that or need help taking action towards your goals, make sure to check out his YouTube Channel!