A Programmers Fear

I’ve writing about the effects of fear on a programmer (and a person) over the last couple of weeks, here are some quotes that I’ve been tweeting on the way:

When a team recognises failure without blame or embarrassment the fear of experimentation evaporates and creativity can flourish

At sea we felt fear of fire, rocks and drowning but it was no comparison to the fear I felt sat in a cubicle in my first office job

I learnt to love those who repressed my creativity and worked hard to please them by excelling at the mundane (Stockholm Syndrome)

A preference for elegant code over people’s messy behaviour encouraged me to create a protective bubble around myself.

My bubble consisted of a pair of headphones and technical language designed to alienate rather than communicate with clarity.

In a team free of fear I listen with an open mind. Ideas emerge and strengthen with each contribution. Creativity bonds us

I crave a respectable position in this informal social hierarchy – it stands in the way of treating all people equally and listening openly

Without fear our minds are #free to find better ways of working. We do it every day, all day. We do “the work” as we discover the method

Ask me and I’ll tell you about my strong belief in equality, step inside my head and I’m deciding whether to look up to or down on you

Thinking about the way I behaved before working in supportive team. Fear and competition often lead to sarcasm and condescension.

As we grew as a team, dysfunctional behaviours caused by fear started to evaporate and be replaced with supportive and empathetic ones

Fear can utterly dominate our behaviour. It stops us thinking, helping, learning, discovering and sharing; the things we need in abundance.


  1. I like how you have packaged the tweets as a body of work. Thought provoking!

  2. Compliments, i find very interesting and useful your considerations about fear and team working. thank you

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