There are a lot of ways that you can look at people and a lot of characteristics that you can choose to expect people to have. One of those characteristics that I choose to believe in is the inherent good of people. Obviously there are evil people in this world and people that are conniving scumbags, but in general I believe most people are legitimately good inside and do not intentionally cause harm or duress to others. This is a prerogative that I choose to believe in and it plays a part in every interaction I have with other people in my daily life.
This morning it was brought to my attention that I screwed up a few months ago and stepped on the toes of another developer. In short, I built and released a plugin that he was building and preparing for release. It was an honest mistake caused by missed communication and I apologized immediately for stepping on his work. Instead of acknowledging the apology and moving on, however, this other developer chose to insinuate that I was a lying scumbag that purposefully wasted his development time and money.
Whether a person chooses to believe you when you make a mistake and you own up to that mistake with an apology is entirely up to the person that feels slighted. I personally believe that people are inherently good and generally do not intentionally step on the toes of others, especially when it is in their best interest not to.
In this particular situation, it is in my best interest to maintain a good relationship with all developers that are building plugins for the ecosystem I have worked for more than two years to build. The more developers that are actively committed to strengthening the ecosystem, the better the ecosystem becomes, so there is no inherent reason for me to intentionally ostracize other developers.
This morning it was made painfully apparent that I had failed to properly utilize some internal management tools that help us manage what each developer is working on. This resulted in duplicate work being created simultaneously. I owned up to that failure and apologized, but that didn’t matter because the other developer had already made a decision that I was a scum bag, at which point my words were about as effective as blunted arrows against a castle wall.
I choose to believe people when they apologize for a mistake, and I choose to believe them when they tell me it was an honest mistake. Everyone makes mistakes and everyone fails at some point, choosing to forever blacklist them does nothing but hurt potentially advantageous relationships.
I try to stand by this belief in the inherent good of people in my day to day life. There simply isn’t enough time in this world to believe others are out to get you.
Be good, code on.