Until recently, I thought leadership was a gift that you either had or did not have. I still believe it is something you can learn and get better at, but I’m now realizing that leadership is something we all have to some capacity. In fact, to be a successful PHP programmer, you have to be a good leader.
When I think of leadership, I typically think of someone leading a group of people through a project or a task. But when you look at a good leader, their ability not only lies in how they manage others….but also how they manage their own time and productivity. An excellent PHP programmer is not only intelligent, but they also have a good understanding in how to make a project successful and refuse to make any promises or commitments that are not realistic.
Whatever you do, you are responsible for leading your own life. This includes at work and at home…even if you are not in what is considered a “leadership position”. How you interact with people, what you do with your time, how you handle problems, etc…all deal with choices that you make every day. You are the master/commander/chief/president of your own life.
Let’s take a look at how this principle relates to the web programming industry. We have a PHP programmer who works at a company we will call Cool Ass Websites. A project comes in that they want a cost estimate on. Management sends the information to the programmer and asks for a time estimate.
Now a programmer with good leadership skills will first determine if they can create an accurate time estimate based on the provided specification (see my Website Specification How To Guide). If they cannot, the programmer will request more information. If they can accurately determine a time estimate for the project, the next question they will ask themselves is if they can get the project done in the specified time line (if this was included), based on what is currently on their plate. They will not promise to complete a project in a time line that does not fit in with their work load….without either adjusting the current work load or pushing back deadlines.
Not only that, but the time estimates this programmer provides for their time is fairly accurate. In most cases they are able to get the project done in less time than they anticipate, which makes project cost estimates and project time lines go smoothly.
If you have any upper management experience in this industry, you realize that what this programmer is doing is not different than what a good project manager or team leader would be doing for multiple people. It shows signs of initiative and responsibility…traits that we all can learn.
This type of PHP programmer is valuable because they do not need someone constantly babysitting them. They can be trusted and people can depend on them confidently. If you are a manager, these are the people you want to manage because they will make you look good.
If you are in a programming related field, show people that when things get tough, you are the last one they should consider firing!
Also, if you are looking to expand your leadership role in the programming field, look into what an online Information Technology degree has to offer.