Every developer knows that unit tests are a good idea.
Most developers know that using version control is a good idea.
Some developers know that a "one-click" build is a good idea.
As you walk the aisles of the programming section at a bookstore, or browse the online equivalent you’ll see knowledge galore. How-to, what-to, why-to out the wazoo. With all this knowledge so readily available, why aren’t there more good or great developers?
The Big Swinging Developer is rarely judged by knowledge alone. As always, you have to be at least "good", which involves knowing a thing or two, but it’s your beliefs that will set you apart from everyone else. I happen to believe in isolating changes/problems, repeatable builds, and testing. Because of these beliefs, I’ve learned a lot of techniques to help me practice them.
I’ve been working on a web app this Memorial Day weekend. I’m a development team of one. No one is watching me, checking up on me, or even working with me. I have a one-click NAnt build that deploys to a Virtual Machine and have been branching my releases in my hosted Subversion repository.
You practice your beliefs because you can’t imagine doing things any other way and that defines you as a developer more than any single technology or language ever can. So, what do you believe?