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There's a great list of project management advice by Jerry Madden of NASA that gets posted here occasionally[1]. One of the points is;

"Rule #30: It is mainly the incompetent that don't like to show off their work."

Madden's remark is based on the specific environment he was involved in (NASA engineering); if you're surrounded by people who are good at their jobs and who know how to criticise constructively then there aren't many reasons to hide what you're doing other than it being a bit rubbish. I don't entirely agree with the idea that people who don't show things off are necessarily incompetent, especially if showing off your work means putting it under general public scrutiny (who can be very nasty), but there's a huge amount of value to be gained in getting feedback from your peers as early as possible.

[1] http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/293253main_62682main_jerry_madden_fo... (Non-PDF version: http://www.altisinc.com/resources/rules/ )




There are other important reasons not to show things before they are done: one is the impatient group member who rather refocuses a development than to wait until it converges to something usable. It takes a lot of experience to make a realistic guess, how long software projects take. It also takes a lot of experience to put progress reports in a way that it always looks like great things are happening in order to avoid the refocus discussion.

The all important point is a constructive team that knows their job. But especially in space project related development, you may be surprised to find managers who don't know much about software.


I'd say it is a better idea to show something finished (or if it's too big, a part of it that it finished). Because if it's not finished, those who look at it will have hard time to understand where you are, where you can go and thus they'll have hard time making a good review of it, or worse, they'll associate the unfinished stuff to your incompetence, lack of vision, lack of will, whatever.


There are also simple human flaws that prevent people from showing off their work, such as lack of confidence and fear of failure (failure in succeeding). They tend to falsely be perceived as extreme modesty, too.


> "Rule #30: It is mainly the incompetent that don't like to show off their work."

Or, they don't show it off for fear of the ungrateful comments that projects tend to get because they don't implement some feature, or there's some obscure bug that the author doesn't consider important, or haven't updated it in a while, and so on.




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