Why I Refuse to Write Technical Programming Articles

The philosophy and life principles weaved beneath the blanket of development and technology


Zachary Minott

2 years ago | 4 min read

“Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking; a way of skeptically interrogating the universe with a fine understanding of human fallibility.” — Carl Sagan

One of the biggest mistakes I see amongst developers is the adoption of a perspective that makes development seem nothing more than a technical tool. It’s about time that we look beyond that.

Development, diluted to its simplest concept, is a means of thinking and innovating in a way to generate value out of nothing. We often don’t think of development as relational to other fields. We don’t imagine how it connects to our truer selves and impacts our daily lives.

We undervalue the power of analytical, critical, and deep thought. Unfortunately, many of us only pay attention to the technical aspects and literals that make development happen rather than the meta-skills that make a developer evolve from good to great — from depressed to fulfilled.

Therefore, it is my belief that any great programmer must first be a great thinker, problem solver, and creative. To what degree can you imagine and inspire a solution? Creativity seems scarce. Imagination is hard to conjure when all you’re thinking about are technicalities and what does what.

Technical Articles are Very Necessary, Just Not For Me

I’m not trying to say that you should avoid focusing on the playbooks of development. Technical writing is very important. They provide great insight into design principles, new ways of development, and very concrete tips and tricks that you can immediately implement.

These are great. These are very very valuable. They provide both a foundation of skill and an immediate token of growth.

But that growth only extends so far. At some point, the solutions, designs, code snippets, algorithms, and professional suggestions will only serve you partial (if any) justice. When you reach that point, no one will be there to help you other than yourself. You’ll have to tap into reserves of creativity. You’ll have to, for the very first time, learn how to innovate. This is where development builds the greater mind.

It’s for this reason, my focus is not to deliver on the technicalities of software. My goal is to help get you to that very next level and be comfortable with that sort of discomfort.

Honestly, the internet is saturated with such technicalities anyways. What different insight is there really for me to offer? I can’t make an impact unless I focus on providing value in a very new, authentic way.

The Web that Connects All Things

See technology will always improve year by year, day by day. Thankfully, there are many people that exist who will gladly write about and share that information involving the progressiveness of development.

Thing is, topics like philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, nutrition, and new insight about human performance, focus, and development are ever-expanding every single day as well. Yet, we never look at such things and ask how such knowledge can be beneficial towards and relate to developers specifically.

I bet you know that feeling when you read a token piece of generalized advice written online and think to yourself, “Well that doesn’t apply to me and the nature of my work, it’s not telling me how to become better at my job as a developer. I’m simply in a different and unique position where such advice doesn’t apply.”

Developers need more information that’ll improve them all around as human beings. They need information that’ll get them to really think and understand what they are doing. They need to understand that how you think is directly correlated to your ability to solve problems.

Developers need to open their minds to see that the world is much bigger than just mere theory and lines of code. It’s when you look beyond such metrics into other important fields of study that are you able to make distinct, creative connections that set you apart. It allows you to innovate. It allows you to be more resilient. It allows you to be unique.

You can say that I put an emphasis on soft skills, but it’s so much more than the basics and what you’d normally expect to hear. I want to push all developers who read my stuff to think differently and ask important questions that no one else is asking. For instance:

  • How can Stoic philosophy help developers be more resilient in their work and live happier lives?
  • How can the Socratic method be used to better solve the more difficult technical problems?
  • How can the Danish concept of Hygge help developers be more focused and calm at work?
  • How can software be built ethically?
  • What do interesting insights like The Peter Principle, The Pygmalion Effect, and The Death-Ground Strategy have to say about developers?

These are interesting questions that I aim to answer, albeit answers that I believe will provide you great value. Why? Because, in essence, a connection can be drawn between anything and everything. When you can draw these connections, you’ll likely be better for it — you see the world differently and therefore can solve problems in authentic ways. Not to mention you’ll be able to much more easily come up with outside-the-box ideas.

Developers make up the fabric of modern society. The process of development is exactly what allows the world to advance so quickly. Hopefully, I’ll be able to weave into your mind the mode of thinking that aligns with the likes of the most creative developers of our time.

Because if every developer thought in the same way those select few unicorn developers thought when coming up with new ideas, then our world will be able to flourish in many great ways.

You’ll be more efficient. Your work will be more meaningful. Your ideas and perspective will change and evolve in extraordinary ways.

Keep making connections. Keep discovering new ways to think. Keep on using your mind to its highest potential.

I’m simply here to help kickstart your mind to get there.


Created by

Zachary Minott







Related Articles