What Software Developers Can Learn From Naruto Uzumaki

Naruto Sage Mode

I believe that you can learn from everyone even if they’re a fictional character. If you have no idea who Naruto is then you’re definitely in for a treat.

This is another post in a series that I’m writing on what software developer can learn for the lives of others. I’ll cover a mix of both fictional and real life mentors. I wanted to do this more after seeing the reaction from another post on Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Today we’ll cover the character Naruto Uzumaki.

Who The Hell Is Naruto Uzumaki?

Naruto is a manga by Masashi Kishimoto with an anime TV series adaptation. Naruto is one of the best selling manga of all time having sold more than 113 million copies in Japan. They anime was also listed as the 38th best animated show in IGN’s Top 100 Animated Series.

Its main character is Naruto Uzumaki. He’s a hyperactive, adolescent ninja who always searches for approval and recognition. All while pursuing his goal to become a Hokage.

The Hokage is the leader and strongest of all ninja in a particular village. Naruto becomes a capable ninja regarded as a hero both by his village, and soon after, the rest of the world.

I could geek out on this show but I’ll spare the details. Let’s get right into what Software Developers can learn from Naruto Uzumaki.

7 Things Software Developers Can Learn From Naruto Uzumaki

Focus on building your strengths

Naruto main strength is his large reserve of chakra. In the show characters use chakra as energy to perform a bunch of different ninja moves. Basically Naruto’s strength leads to extreme stamina.

He uses this strength to take a basic ninja move to the next level. Ninja can make temporary copy of themselves. They do this for a bunch of different reasons.

Naruto uses his strength to do “Multiple Shadow Clone Technique”. He can make 1,000s of copies of himself. All his other techniques and skills build on this ability in some way.

He doesn’t worry that he can’t do things that other ninjas can. He focuses on his strength is a top ninja because of it.

We all have something that we do well. As software developers we can benefit by focusing on our strengths.

If you’re a UI expert don’t worry so much about you lack of knowledge on server-side code. If you can design your way out of a wet paper back don’t beat yourself up over it. Relying on your strengths in creatives ways could help you achieve your goals.

Remember your ninja way

Naruto wants to become Hokage not for selfish reasons. He does it because he wants to bring peace and help others.

Being a Software Developer can just be a job. My gut is telling me that having a higher purpose will make the hard times easier to get through. It works for Naruto at least.

Find the good in everyone

Even your enemies. Naruto’s wins battles by finding the good in someone and then turning them over to his side.

It’s easy to get into us versus them battles in the tech space. Android vs iOS, Windows vs Mac, Open Source vs Closed ecosystems. As software developers we need to try to learn something from everyone and avoid holy wars.

Don’t back down from a challenge

Naruto was an inept student in the Academy. He failed to graduate three times before becoming a shinobi. Through sheer determination his skills rapidly improve.

Every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow. We might fail many times. What’s more important is that we didn’t back down from the challenge and gave it our best attempt.

Rivals can be great motivators

Sasuke a very skilled ninja is Naruto’s main rival and friend. They push each other to do better and grow. Even when that means beating each other up half to death.

As Software Developers it’s important to find rivals, that will help push us to be better. Let’s try to avoid the violence though.

Finding a strong mentor is important

Jiraiya one of the legendary ninja is Naruto’s mentor. By studying with Jiraiya for a few years Naruto saw exponential growth in his abilities.

The good about today is how easy it is to access the ideas of others. As Software Developers we don’t have to learn only face to face like Naruto did. We can read books, watch videos, or join online communities. Having mentors can be great benefit to any coder.

Layer your previous skills for greater results

When trying to learn a new technique “Rasengan” broke the rules. He used shadow clones to help him pull of the difficult skill. Later own Naruto combines other abilities to create new and more powerful moves.

He even thrown in random, completely useless supplementary techniques at powerful opponents. This has successfully create a decent opening for a counterattack.

Software developers can follow Naruto’s example by building on the skills we already have. When finding what to learn next it’s important to not forget the skills we already have. You can these skills to our advantage even when the seem useless on the surface.

Also sometimes you just have to go with the Hack. Not every situation is going to be perfect. A big part of being a Software Developer is solving problems. You can’t expect to tackle every problem head on and win.

Naruto Is An Inspiration

I’m not saying this just because I’m some Naruto fanboy who’s been watching shows for years. He’s an inspiration because he’s stayed true to himself no matter what.

Now that you know a few things that have helped make Naruto a beloved character, how will you try to improve?

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