Your identity ≠ Your code | Collective Idea
I’ve been thinking about this idea a lot lately. And I think it’s a trap that developers (myself included) easily fall into. To make this idea a little more specific to developers: Your identity ≠ Your code.
As developers, we like to solve problems and get a kick out of that feeling that seemingly comes out of nowhere: “Yes! I solved it. I am all that is awesome!” (maybe I’m the only one who says that out loud). But at the same time we attach ourselves tightly to our code and will equate criticisms of our code as criticisms of us as a person. And lets be honest, while we all want to improve, it is difficult not to equate “this could be better” with “you should have been smarter”.
This idea also affects open source. It is rare to see a young developer submit bug fixes to existing projects. Most developers have the talent to fix outstanding issues, but don’t due to the fear of rejection and criticism. And again it isn’t the specific criticisms of the code they write, which in all likelihood would only accelerate their learning, it’s hearing those criticisms and taking it personal.