Natural Programmers (Code Monkeys) vs. Career Programmers (Geeks in Suits): Page 2

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We think Software is a beautiful, exact Science.

A natural programmer named B Rob coined the phrase “Verifiable Art.” We think the fact that there are many ways to do things correctly and one way to tell if it works is just perfect.

I mean, there are different ways to solve the same problem, and different things to prioritize like speed, and traffic, and usability. However, we always know if it is done right because it works and we’ve solved a problem while expressing ourselves, and that’s a wonderful thing.

We don’t think much of The Man.

Your government’s laws were made by people socially savvy enough to obtain public offices. We don’t really trust them to have our best interests in mind. We don’t find a particularly compelling reason to follow these rules, besides the desire to stay out of trouble and keep our freedom. We understand the need for a system of rules and enforcers, but it really doesn’t apply to us since we aren’t the people causing trouble in the first place. We appreciate your efforts though.

Sometimes you make us uncomfortable.

We don’t understand why people say one thing and mean another, or how we are supposed to “just know.” We try to hide that with our sense of humor, or our ability to make you feel like you are wrong (we don’t realize that makes things worse).

Please be patient with us and realize sometimes we just need to be told. We like it when you give it to us straight.

We’re not impressed that you make lots of money.

See, we’re not in this for the money. I mean, the money is great and all, we can buy much cooler toys, but we’d be doing this as a night gig while working in the mailroom if we needed to.

Want to impress us? Come up with a cool solution we haven’t thought of, or teach us a technology we don’t know. You will garner our respect for life.

The arch enemy of the code monkey is paperwork.

Status reports, QA forms, documentation, and timesheets. We think these things are a waste of our time. We understand they are needed for the business, but we are busy writing code and fixing bugs and laying the foundation for new features. We think that is more important and therefore you will get these things at the last minute (or you may need to remind us). We hope you will see the value in us keeping our heads in our work.

So, if you’re an IT manager or director should you hire a code monkey?

Well, that depends on your end goal. If you want someone that will code with their head down, be quiet during meetings, and do everything you ask without argument then the career programmer is the way to go. However, if you want your solution to knock people’s socks off, if you want to be the “next big thing,” then you need to find a code monkey. You will have to put up with our quirks, and possibly take a little guff, but it’s an investment that will give you big returns in the long run.

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Tags: software, management, programmers, developers, applications

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