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The Best Developers are Lazy

The best developers are lazy. There, I said it. 

But I haven’t always felt this way.

If you have joined us for any of our livestreams on Twitch or YouTube, you know that I come from an agile web development background. So, I’m no stranger to overworking and burnout culture. For this reason, when I learned of the lazy developer trope, I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew how hard my teams had worked to push tickets, and I also knew how we were constantly pushed by the product team to increase velocity. 

About a month ago, Dan and I had the pleasure of chatting with Jess Rose, a Developer Advocate at n8n, on an episode of The Hallway Track, about what it means to be a lazy developer. Honestly, as I prepared for this chat, I prepared to dispel the myth of developer laziness. What ended up happening blew my mind. 

The Importance of a Lazy Developer

Jess is a self-proclaimed lazy, happy Developer Advocate who is on a mission to promote strategic laziness as an effective, more fulfilling way to work for creatives. In our chat, Jess reveals that she is able to work part-time at just 3 days per week in her role. The reason she’s able to do this is that she has managed to automate repetitive, manual tasks at work, using n8n. 

As we all know, automation is the way of the smartest operators, and I think this could work for most creative roles. Though I don’t know how a 3-day week would work in an agile development environment because, while developers are creative, agile in practice aims to reduce the amount of free time developers have at their disposal.   

What can be applied to any role is the idea of automating mundane and repetitive tasks. Good developers have curious minds that also like to avoid mundane, repetitive tasks. We search for opportunities to build tools or scripts to make our lives easier.  If you view laziness in that light, I suppose it fits. While many of us may never be able to automate ourselves into a 3-day week, we can all find ways to use automation to improve our lives. Check out the full video on YouTube.  

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Kiah Tolliver

Kiah Tolliver is the Developer Advocate at Chef.

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