"I have six years experience"…..
"I finished my work two days ahead of schedule"….
"I can create a blog in 15mins"….
These quotes never fail to wind me up and they are quite common in the technology industry.
"I can create a blog in 15mins"
I hear this frequently from hipsters that think that this is a good thing(™). It is heavily used in the Rails community. When I hear that quote from someone my opinion of them drops. Creating something in fifteen minutes is easy - creating something that can be extended, used and pivoted is much more important and more often than not - you can't build a solid foundation in fifteen minutes.
"I have six years experience"
This one sends me to town. At the time of writing I have thirteen and a half years experience. In real terms though I probably have eight. I spent a few years stagnant in a few jobs, not that the companies were bad or I was lazy (even though I sort of was). That's just the way things go. I spent at least two years writing .csv reports for a dwindling .com. I spent another two copying and pasting code for another. These times weren't really wasted, I am sure I garnered other skills like being able to hold a bespoke system together with nothing but sticky tape and a skeleton crew, those firefighting skills still hold me in good stead now (the system actually stayed up for two years after they fired all the technology people and had no one to maintain it). The copying and pasting reference is a tad unfair but I definitely didn't get the 'real terms' experience there. It works both ways though. In my current job I have learnt more in the last six months than I probably have in the last five years. Swings and roundabouts.
"I finished my work two days ahead of schedule"
Great but if you are doing it frequently your estimates are wrong and you aren't pushing yourself. This usually goes hand in hand with the "six years" quote. Doing the same stuff over and over again. For me when I start to do things REALLY quickly I get worried. Work shouldn't be too hard but it also shouldn't be too easy either. I could knock out a csv report on stock movements for the dwindling .com in about 10mins regardless of complexity and I thought I was doing good work. To be fair if you spend a few years doing something and you don't get to be 'quick' at it then you are doing something wrong. It is all too easy to get de-skilled in this industry and start to believe your own hype. I learnt that doing stuff quickly was a sign that something was wrong and I almost left it too late. Unfortunately most people don't learn this until they are too late themselves.
Pushing myself is a pain in the ass at times but I wouldn't have it any other way.