Do Tebow-Like Beliefs Make You a Better Software Developer?: Page 2

A software developer shares his experience with colleagues who felt personal beliefs influence coding ability.


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Posted January 24, 2012

Eric Spiegel

(Page 2 of 2)

Just like Jimmy and June in my story, Tebow has no problem promoting his religious beliefs in the context of his football success. He frequently references them, even in interviews that were intended to be about football.

When he recently threw for “316” yards in a playoff upset of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the press had a field day hinting that it must be a sign of the rapture.

In my personal opinion, that’s just silly. It would be the same if Jimmy had stated that his code worked better because he was able to write it in 316 lines.

But I also see that Tebow is good at his craft, a hard worker and seems to be an all-around good guy – similar to Jimmy. Yet it isn’t surprising that when he fails – like he did in the next playoff game – many people will gloat about it.

People look to sports as a recreational escape, just like people want to focus on work at work – not on what religious beliefs they should or shouldn’t have.

That said, I’ll confess that when Jimmy’s code started showing up more on the bug report, I may have inwardly smiled.

In reflection, I’m not proud of my reaction – I should have known better.

I look back with shame for having these feelings about Jimmy’s failures because one doesn’t have to be religious to know the difference between right and wrong. His unwanted overtures were annoying, but he eventually stopped when he realized I was not interested – or, perhaps in his mind, a lost cause.

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However, I see what June did as misguided. As our manager, she should never have insinuated that switching to her religious beliefs would have improved the development team’s performance. If I had received a subpar performance review about my coding from her, there would have been a trace of doubt in my mind that not attending the prayer meetings had been a factor.

I didn’t stick around to find out. But Stan did.

Stan and I met for lunch after I had left and he said something that brought another jaw-dropping reaction.

“I joined the prayer meetings,” he said, sheepishly – anticipating my reaction.


“Look, I needed the promotion to team lead and if I was to have a chance against Jimmy, I felt this would help my chances. Besides, I actually found the meetings a calming way to start the day. You never attended one, so you shouldn’t rush to judgment.”

I thought about it and conceded he had a point and said, ”Fair enough.”

Stan then gave me a wry smile and said, “Yeah, and I’m also the new team lead.”

I still don’t agree with his decision. However, my own views have become more tolerant with age. Except I hope I will be forgiven for rooting against Tebow just a little bit. I am a Steeler fan, after all.

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