It’s a Compliment – Technically Speaking

Remember these rules regarding how to properly deliver a compliment to a software developer who has created an impressive and technically complex piece of code:

  1. Before attempting any sort of flattery, invest some time to know enough about the work to be able to praise a specific aspect of it. Software developers are (generally) very intelligent and can see straight through a bullshit compliment.
  2. When introducing a developer to other people or just generally talking about him don’t say “I have no idea what he does, but it is simply amazing”. If you’d only heeded the first rule, you’d know that it isn’t really “amazing”, it is just a complicated thing that came about by applying years of considered study & experience with a lot of hard work and studious attention to detail combined with ridiculously long hours at the expense of personal leisure time.
  3. An occasional atta-boy is OK, but make sure it is mixed in with some more specific compliments that demonstrate you have really taken a moment (and often a moment is all it takes) to understand and appreciate what the developer has created.