How WoW Raiding Made Me A Better Dev


I was reflecting back on some of my previous World of Warcraft experiences (and friends) and how they made me a better software developer. Raiding takes teamwork, dedication, and patience, just like any job does. Except you don’t get paid.

Criticism sucks, but it’s a good way to learn.

No one likes to be told they are doing something wrong. Me included. I would always look at the logs of the characters performing better than me, find them, and ask them how I could improve. I do the same as a software developer. Other people will tell you to make changes and improvements to your code (cough braces go on a new line people cough). I’ve learned to not take it personally, think carefully about what is being told to me, and evaluate if I want to make that change.

Asking others pays off.

Own up to your mistakes.

After a wipe (when we all die and the boss doesn’t), generally the raid leader will ask who messed up. Raid members will explain what they did wrong. It’s really uncomfortable to admit to 25+ other people that you didn’t push a button at the right time. But, the more you do it the less uncomfortable it gets. I’ve carried that over to all of my projects. If I made a mistake, it’s easier to just go tell my team, fix it, and learn not to do it again. It happens to all of us.

What was I thinking?

Determination makes the difference between being the one of the best or one of the rest.

When people would ask me how our guild got our boss kills, I always told them that it was because we didn’t give up. I remember it taking somewhere around 86 different tries to kill a boss. That’s 85 times of not doing it right in some way. Each time, we would assess our mistakes and try to do better. The same goes for Software Development. If it didn’t do what I wanted the first time, I keep on assessing what the problem is and make changes to fix it.

Completing a difficult challenge with friends is satisfying.

Finishing a project with a team feels as good as killing a raid boss does. Finishing Microverse and reaching the end of our semester progress on Espere’s Journey was a very proud moment. It made me as proud as when my guild killed a raid boss and we could brag to our friends that we finally did it. Being able to show off a completed project is even more rewarding.

Even though a lot of people will claim raiding in World of Warcraft is a waste of time, it was time well spent. The relationships I have made and the skills I have learned in game are just as useful in life.

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