Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages… In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried
– Raplh Waldo Emerson
Let’s face it, we live in an authoritarian society. We are taught from a young age to obey orders, and to trust information from places of authority - almost without question. This tends to stay with us throughout our lives, in one form or another. It takes guts and courage to swim upstream, to actively go against industry ‘best practices’ and instead choose methods you think are better. People might laugh at you, or call you crazy. But don’t forget that there’d be no progress without people like you.
Authoritarians talk about protocols, but the only valid ‘protocol’ would be something like ‘perceive, think, act’
– Raymond Peat
I’ve watched numerous interviews with programmers that I consider good at their craft and there is one common trait they all tend to have - they trust themselves. Faced with the question of when they would use a certain programming practice or tool, their reply is usually something along the lines of “It depends”. They use a healthy dose of common sense, reasoning and experimentation to weigh up the tradeoffs and they aren’t afraid to stop using something if it no longer brings any benefits - no matter what some authority says.
Good programmers tend to have vastly different styles and approaches. There’s no single way to approach programming well. All roads lead to Rome. What’s more important is finding what works for you, and you can only do that by learning to trust your own judgment.