Why Proficiency Trumps Perfection When Building a Career in Tech

BY Mifa Adejumo · 5 MIN READ

Indeed, the legends are true. Somewhere in this vast cosmos, “that someone” resides. All we know is that they are perfection in the software development worldment. Yes, they are everything you only wished to be as a software developer in your wildest dream. They have mastered the art of all the programming languages there were and ever will be, creating new ones yet to be debuted. They can code endlessly without water and food and still not need any source of respite or sustenance. They are legends of the programming world, and everyone, nay, every company in the tech world would die to have them on their team.

If only they existed…

If you’re as smart as I suspect you are reading this, then you probably winced at the entire paragraph before. Intriguing as the idea of there being a perfect software developer out there in the vast cosmos, it is understandable that if ever there was, they wouldn’t be any fun working with. Imagine having to come into the office with someone like that. Imagine trying to set up your workstation, only to hear that person announce that they have done all the projects and tasks for the day. Now, while this might seem comforting to come to work and not have to work, I bet that after the first week, it starts feeling a little less so.

The idea that anyone can be completely perfect at something has always been one of those tropes that most people tend to wince at. Yes, we often use the word “perfect” to describe systems of incredible designs and aesthetics, even in the programming world. However, the idea of perfection is still one that every software developer understands to be innately false. Yet, a lot of budding software developers can’t help but feel a sense of inadequacy in their skills.


Think proficiency, not perfection

No one is perfect. No system, nonetheless. But with the right tools, something close to perfection exists, called proficiency. This is something that is heavily sought after here at Tunga. Ideally, as an out-staffer company, we get many requests from companies/clients looking for the perfect fit of software developers to join their teams. We can understand how important the qualities they shop for are. Every company, including ours, ideally goes shopping for the perfect employee. However, it is understandable that we often end up not getting the perfect employee or software developer but instead finding the most proficient.

Therein lies the magic, one that even the most beautifully fabricated legend cannot surpass. Proficiency is a cornerstone for creativity, and not just in the tech world. Someone proficient at something aspires towards improving and creating value with the skill and knowledge they have gained. Software developer proficient at using JavaScript doesn’t usually stop at learning and mastering JavaScript but pushes themselves toward other programming languages/frameworks to gain more knowledge while creating value for others. If you need to drive on a regular highway, why go the extra mile for a heavy-duty truck license? In other words, proficiency means you have to think about what direction to develop your skills, not just blindly going for perfection in one direction while neglecting other necessary skills.


Proficiency comes with experience.

Experience in the tech world is invaluable. For instance, a newbie who begins a web development course at our academy and, after two months of learning and taking tests, joins an open source project that lasts for another month where they can harness some of the knowledge they have gained. Now, in three hypothetical months, they have gained some experience that can further direct their path. As the months pass, they focus on learning Python, getting more proficient with the language seeing as they understand (due to the open source project) its importance as an open source programming language. In doing this, what began as a two-month learning journey at the Tunga academy has turned into a six-eight months proficiency journey with experience.

The above is hypothetical, but it’s not far from the reality of just how much proficiency and experience are two peas in a pod. At Tunga, we are keen on both because we understand that while perfection means no mistakes, proficiency, and experience mean continued effort despite any mistakes. And that is something we hope that more developers aspire towards. Improve your skills with proficiency and experience, and the tech world becomes your creative oyster.


Keep at it

With that being said, as a company, we want you to know that whatever efforts you put into your developer journey at this point, though it might not seem like much, in time, it will count towards the value you can offer going forward. We understand that it can be a challenging journey as a developer when you have your sights set on perfection, and it seems you keep falling short of it. We have all been there. As a company, we understand that perfection might seem ideal in finding suitable matches for all the African developers in our database. Still, striving for perfection is a suboptimal approach to becoming a successful developer. In essence, our goal as a company is to guide and help you set the right priorities with respect to launching your tech career.

In a perfect world, the legends might be true. Someone who can code without sleeping may exist and take on multiple software development projects in a single leap. But if we are being honest, wouldn’t that be a boring world to live in? So, why not choose to be instead the proficient developers in this imperfect world of ours and let Tunga be the launching pad of your tech career?