What the developers are for


c0d3g33k wrote there:

I'm a developer. (Professionally, that is, not for Gentoo). Used to be a scientist - had more fun writing the tools than doing the science. In my professional life, I've seen self-important high school dropouts slag accomplished lawyers, physicians, scientists and businessfolk, calling them "lusers" because they don't understand the sublime intricacies of Perl or HTML or XML or CSS or Struts or Java or C++ or C or Lisp or Assembly or . Self-important people who had the audacity to think that understanding a <form> tag, or a do:while loop or 'public static void main(String args[])' trumps the ability to keep somebody out of prison, or save someone's life or discover new drugs or found a successful company. Here's a wakeup call: Software development is something we used to do on the side in addition to our real jobs because it was a useful tool to accomplish our real goals. If you're a developer and you start feeling full of yourself, realize that *a lot of people can do it themselves, they just don't have the time*. It's like any other skill. Devote yourself to it and be a professional, but don't assume that your skills are the pinnacle of achievement against which all else pales. My motivation for developing software professionally is because it enables other professionals (or ordinary people) to do their jobs better, easier and quicker. The moment I forget that and assume that my self-indulgence is more important than enabling people to accomplish more with better tools, I've failed. Because there's nothing more sad than creating a tool that nobody wants to use. I hate that more than anything. Users aren't there to justify and validate your need to develop. Developers are there to develop tools that enable other human beings to do great things. My opinion of self-important developers is left as an exercise to the reader.

Don't sell yourself short as a developer - it's a wonderful skill to have. But realize that it's a skill that is fully realized only when it is enabling something else work better. You can't eat code, or drive it, or keep warm in the winter with it. But code can make these things better, more affordable, less expensive. So next time you are about to rake a "luser" over the coals, think about what they might be trying to accomplish. And realize they will accomplish it without you, easily. They have been doing so for all of history, not just since Babbage first conceived of his difference engine. So keep things in perspective.

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