By Joseph Cho, Software Developer

I came across an interesting question on Quora titled What does it feel like to be an average programmer among very talented ones? For those who don’t know, Quora is basically the brainchild of Yahoo Answers and Reddit if they decided to make babies together.

There’s a lot of talent in our engineering team. I’m talking elites from top tier universities like MIT and Harvard, those guys with a Masters degree in Computer Science, and engineers who’ve been programming for literally longer than I’ve been alive. So what’s it like to be working with these kinds of people?

Quite frankly it’s a privilege to have access to a talented group of engineers at MackeyRMS. I can always borrow an idea if I don’t know how to approach a problem, or ask for help if I’m feeling stuck in the mud. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn from others who’ve tread the same path as you and equally humbling to realize there’s still a ton to learn out there. Just some of the challenges we face are working with multiple languages in tandem (everyone is a polyglot programmer), maintaining a scalable architecture to get fixes out within minutes, and creating custom workflows to meet each of our clients needs. We manage all of this while servicing thousands of users with an adept team of developers that can be counted on the fingers of two hands.

Don’t get me wrong I’m no slouch. I signed up for a programming bootcamp a year out of college and haven’t looked back since. Launch Academy moved at a fast clip, and it was incredibly motivating to be surrounded by people who jumped off their career paths to pursue code. But even then there were subtle differences between those who could absorb concepts and apply them naturally, and those that couldn’t. By the end of cohort I was honored to lead three other developers into making our first open source Rails app.

If there’s anything my journey has taught me so far, it’s that there’s no point getting caught up in comparisons. What does a talented programmer even mean? Lines of code produced? Number of open source projects? How quickly a feature can be built? As long as we’re enjoying the growth process we can’t be too far off the right path.