It doesn’t cost much to acknowledge those who have helped you, and it can be very rewarding. Regardless of where you are in your career as a software developer (or most other careers, but this is mainly directed at developers), show appreciation for those who make your job easier or who help you improve. This might be a peer or mentor who takes the time to guide you, it could be your boss or your employee. It might be the individual or team who supports that open source library you’ve been relying on for years. Whoever it is, take a moment and just acknowledge that they’ve helped you. You don’t have to spend any money, or make a big deal out of it, either. Just the words mean a lot.
You’ll find that thanking people for doing things you appreciate tends to make them want to do more of those things. So even if you’re a purely selfish individual, you should consider employing the tactic of (sincerely) thanking the people that help you to be successful. And of course, don’t limit your gratitude to purely technical individuals. You’re probably grateful for some things non-developers do, too.
This week happens to be Thanksgiving in the United States, which has inspired me to write this. I’m thankful to all of the great friends I know in the developer community. I’ve worked with a lot of great developers and a lot of great people in my career so far. In the spirit of being specific, I’d like to thank Jeremy Miller for his hard work on StructureMap, a library I’ve used for years that has really improved the quality of many applications I’ve written. Thanks, Jeremy! You rock!
And while I’m at it, I’d also like to thank you for reading this, whether you came here from my weekly developer tips email, twitter, or just over the web. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you’ve found it helpful. Leave a comment to thank someone who’s helped you, or to link to your own tweet or post about showing some appreciation.