Fine Print and What Makes A Good Programmer — or Attention To Detail

Watching a commercial on television tonight, I realized I spend more time reading the fine print that flashes at the bottom of the screen than I do paying attention to advertisement itself. Certainly, I’m not the only one who does that, but I’ve yet to encounter anyone I know personally that I’ve asked. (Granted, I haven’t asked anyone at work; there might be a higher rate of those who read the fine print on ads for people at work.)

So do good programmers tend to read the fine print? Does reading the fine print have anything to do with attention to detail? I’ll say that does.  If a person is able to pay attention to the real content of the message (“motion has been added for dramatic effect”, “compensated endorser”, and other such gems) while ignoring the hype, that person just might be the kind of critical thinker who can determine the most productive project to address first and act on that. Time is limited, potential projects are unlimited, but productive people know what to do next that will produce the highest possible value.

Do you read the fine print?