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The Rising Power of Developers

Soulskill posted 1 year,29 days | from the kneel-before-zod's-principal-software-engineer dept.

Programming 122

msmoriarty writes "Google's Don Dodge, GitHub's Tom Preston-Werner, New Relic's Lew Cirne and others recently got together in San Francisco on a panel called 'The Developer is King: The Power Behind the Throne.' According to coverage of the event, the panelists all agreed that programmers — both independent ones and those employed by companies — have more power, and thus opportunities, than ever. Even the marketing power of developers was acknowledged: 'The only way to convince a developer is by giving them a demo and showing them how it's better,' said Preston-Werner. 'The beauty is, you plant these seeds around the world, and those people will evangelize it for you. Because another thing that developers are great at is telling other developers what works for them.'"

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Pat on the back (4, Insightful)

Noughmad (1044096) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461563)

Some rich guys got together, told themselves how great they are and how they deserve to be rich. News at 11.

Re:Pat on the back (2)

benmk (2819735) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461871)

So, no need to watch the news at 11 anymore. Well then, just do some coding...

Re:Pat on the back (1, Insightful)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463271)

Can we please put developers in the back seat as run of the mill production workers like they belong. I respect a minority of software architects, but plain jane code toads need to be getting the treatment and pay of the few steps above fry cook that they are.

Re:Pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463673)

Steps:

1 buy a company
2 demote/layoff all coders
3 promote one's self to CEO
4 PROFIT $$$

Re:Pat on the back (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463675)

The same applies to pretty much all professions. It never ceases to amaze me what salaries managers command with little if any reason for it.

Re:Pat on the back (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463967)

Software architects decide how the food should taste and which bits of food aren't compatible with other bits. Software developers design and build the first of a particular type of meal from the raw parts. It's more comparable to inventing the meals for the first time than a fry cook. System customizers then take the food and prepare it neatly as a meal but don't change any of the flavours or individual items on the plate, they just re-arrange the plates.

Software technicians that install software on the other hand are (possibly even less than) equivalent to fry cooks since they just follow a set of pre-defined instructions to get someone else's cooked food out of the freezer and microwave it.

Occasionally they try to violate the architects requirements and take two incompatible types of food and make it into a meal without asking a system customizer.

Re:Pat on the back (1)

jmhobrien (2750125) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464027)

You obviously don't know much about software development. The spectrum of mastery in software engineering varies from burger flipper to head chef.

Re:Pat on the back (3, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464095)

Good point, but the problem is that very few people see the width of that spectrum. Sucks if you're a head chef but your boss can't really see how you're different from the burger flipper, except that you seem to flip more or bigger burgers.

That's why I call bollocks on TFA. VCs favour developer-founders now? It might be a good move but then again, it might not, and next month they'll favour people with neatly trimmed hair, just like last month they were favouring people with business experience. As for programmers, their power has declined. A long time ago (in tech-land terms), programming was a respected profession, not just amongst peers but also by the general public, and by those programmers' employers. That had already ended when I got into the game, but even back then, programmers did have a significant amount of influence on the design and parameters of the program. As a programmer I got to join meetings on product and service design with the CTO and marketing manager of a large mobile telco. Small projects were generally left to be managed by team leads who were also programmers. And project managers of larger projects often deferred to his developers.

Today, most larger corporations keep their programmers in the basement. The aspect of the job that involved contact with clients, management and business representatives is now handled by sales reps, project managers and business analysts. Most of whom have a very weak grasp of technology, I might add. The chasm between tech and business hasn't widened, but the bridges have gone and we're reduced to flinging memos across the gap. On top of that, now we're seeing heavy compartimentalisation of the work, by defining standards and procedures that attempt to turn creativity and flexibility into predictable monkey work. Now, standards and procedures aren't necessarily bad, and the field of software development can do with some professionalisation, but what's being introduced now moves us in the wrong direction. Even the master coders' jobs are being reduced to burger flipping, or at least managers are trying to.

Re:Pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464115)

Can we please put developers in the back seat as run of the mill production workers like they belong. I respect a minority of software architects, but plain jane code toads need to be getting the treatment and pay of the few steps above fry cook that they are.

The way most companies work aritechture is an underfunded joke and each and every decent programmer is their own architect. The REALLY good ones play well with others AND do their own brilliant designs.

If the developers you are employing are a step above fry cooks, please tell me which company you work for so I can avoid having anything to do with that disaster waiting to happen.

Re:Pat on the back (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464743)

Can we please put developers in the back seat as run of the mill production workers like they belong. I respect a minority of software architects, but plain jane code toads need to be getting the treatment and pay of the few steps above fry cook that they are.

The way most companies work aritechture is an underfunded joke and each and every decent programmer is their own architect. The REALLY good ones play well with others AND do their own brilliant designs.

If the developers you are employing are a step above fry cooks, please tell me which company you work for so I can avoid having anything to do with that disaster waiting to happen.

The joke in my town is that "architect" is the title of the person who ships the work to the offshore coders.

Re:Pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464133)

Spoken like a true pinhead manager

Re:Pat on the back (2)

johnjaydk (584895) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464273)

Can we please put developers in the back seat as run of the mill production workers like they belong. I respect a minority of software architects, but plain jane code toads need to be getting the treatment and pay of the few steps above fry cook that they are.

Giving developers that kind of treatment causes a very low productivity and little attachment to the company. That's going to hurt your bottom line. But hey, it's your bottom line. I'm not going to complain the karmic blowback that's going to hit you.

BTW. Welcome to the select few i my foe's list.

Re:Pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464441)

wtf? are you capable of expressing complex formalized logic as code? if not, STFU... else, try to imagine your average burger chef learning *anything* about function pointers or recursive structs to the point of being able to do anything useful with it, else go drown yourself in the sorry bucket of liquid slop that passes for your missing brain.... seriously- developers as a fry cook? what are you smoking? i want some...

Re:Pat on the back (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464447)

I would almost go so far as to say that the developers ARE the product, ARE the company, and CREATE all wealth involved with said product (unless it's just another stupid website looking for ad revenue, in which case marketing actually does something useful)
developers can create a tech company with zero need for non-developers on board.
you can't say the same for any other folks... the nerve of suggesting that developers are somehow menial grunts- they ARE the ESSENCE of your EFFORT, unless development is just a sideshow for your real corporate activity...

Re:Pat on the back (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464575)

I will believe that when developers can command 1500 for a single Saturday shift like pit deputies can in the UK

it might be true, but not very convincing panel (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461575)

A group of successful developers get together on a panel and, surprisingly, everyone on the panel agrees that developers are very important and goin' places in the world.

Re:it might be true, but not very convincing panel (5, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462725)

Meanwhile, you get back to work and tell the boss that the new product feature is a bad idea, and you get told to shut up and keep rowing.

Re:it might be true, but not very convincing panel (2)

CrankyFool (680025) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463727)

It depends on the place you are. Perhaps, more generally, it's better to say that in some companies developers have a lot of power, whereas in some companies they don't. If you don't like how developers are treated in your company, have you considered your options?

I'm an engineering managers, with developers reporting to me. They figure out where the product needs to be going. I provide input, which they often, but not always, listen to. Generally, they listen to our customers (internal people) more than they listen to me. Seems like the right approach for us.

Re:it might be true, but not very convincing panel (2)

terryducks (703932) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464385)

... keep rowing

the good new is that there will be extra rations

the bad news is that the fat bitch will want to water ski tonight.

Re:it might be true, but not very convincing panel (3, Interesting)

StripedCow (776465) | 1 year,28 days | (#44465053)

Actually, when I read the headline, I was hoping this article was about programmers starting a union, to collectively fight things such as diverging programming ecosystems, software patent abuse, deliberately broken/abandoned APIs, walled API gardens, etcetera.

Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461585)

This is more fake-labor-shortage shilling.

Everything it says - the opposite is true.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461797)

I have never met a competent developer who had trouble finding work.

I HAVE met incompetent out-of-touch, burnt-out, full-of-themselves developers who can't find work. It's this second kind that think they're good but are not and who should be in another field.

Re:Lies (5, Insightful)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461887)

I have never met a competent developer who had trouble finding work.

I HAVE met incompetent out-of-touch, burnt-out, full-of-themselves developers who can't find work. It's this second kind that think they're good but are not and who should be in another field.

As far as finding work goes, you're probably correct. I have, however, met a fairly large number of good developers who are 10x more productive than an average programmer, but have difficulty getting paid what they're worth.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462399)

Getting paid what you're worth, is the responsibility of the developer.

Re:Lies (2)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462401)

To find work, you need a skill: You need to be able to convince people that you can provide a level of value for the pay.

This is easy if you just want average-skilled developer work, all you need to do is have a degree/work experience/answer interview questions. It's a LOT harder if you want to convince people to pay you for significantly above average work, but that is the skill you need if you want that kind of pay.

Re:Lies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462695)

To find work, you need to be in the right city, and have the right credentials, which are typically inflated since they'd rather outsource the work anyway.. Otherwise, do you want fries with that?

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462485)

At some point in life when you have kids, mortgage and an established social circle, you may start valuing the status quo more than the prospect of "getting paid what you're worth" by moving out of your comfort zone.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462561)

>difficulty getting paid what they're worth
These are usually people with no self confidence and always feel like they are barely holding on all the time. Usually these are the sysadmin programmers that are basically the heart of a small business; the boss treats him like a child, so he goes along with it.

Yes, I'm speaking from experience, because one day I realized my own worth, got a job with better environment & pay; when I gave my 2 weeks notice, the boss still treated me like a child. "how dare you leave? after all I've done for you! i don't need 2 weeks, get out now!"

Re:Lies (5, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462759)

I have been out of work in the past for nearly a year. Lots of people claiming that they wanted to hire me, if only they had the budget. When the economy is bad and there are no job openings, it doesn't matter how competent you are. Maybe a lot of these new people haven't really been in a bad economy or downturn except the current one. Also the fads comd and go, if the current fad is web sites with scripting language of the day, and you don't know web stuff, then all those jobs pass you by no matter how good a programmer you are.

Some of the people that do the best with getting jobs are the dabblers, quickly learning the rudiments of something and then moving on in a few years when fashions change; client/server turns into palm pilot apps turns into web design turns into mobile apps, etc.

Also very important to finding a job, is to not be geeky and nerdy. You need people skills and that is not easy to learn for the borderline autism spectrum people who are great coders and hardware designers and mathematicians. You have to learn to NOT be yourself in an interview.

Re:Lies (2)

LordLucless (582312) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463013)

Also the fads comd and go, if the current fad is web sites with scripting language of the day, and you don't know web stuff, then all those jobs pass you by no matter how good a programmer you are.

Some of the people that do the best with getting jobs are the dabblers, quickly learning the rudiments of something and then moving on in a few years when fashions change; client/server turns into palm pilot apps turns into web design turns into mobile apps, etc.

Yes, people who never believed this new-fangled interweb "fad" was going anywhere, or never bothered learning any new technology after they left tertiary education because gosh darn it if C was good enough for Kernighan, it should be good enough for everyone - they might find it hard to get a job.

Lawyers need to keep up-to-date on precedent, accountants need to know the latest tax changes, and doctors need to follow the latest developments in medicine. A developer needs to keep up with the changing nature of technology.

Re:Lies (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463281)

But the languages used to program on the web are changing all the time.

Re:Lies (1)

LordLucless (582312) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463865)

So are the languages on the desktop - but they're not changing fast enough that remaining relatively current is particularly difficult. I still see more job advertisements for PHP and Java than I do for Ruby on Rails or NodeJS.

Re:Lies (1)

yes it is (1137335) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464053)

The interesting projects are likely to be RoR or node. I make a living doing high value interesting stuff in perl. I pulled a rare 'to 2am on friday night last night' but for the most part I get interesting work that's well paid and they leave me alone to get on with it. Sweet gig.

Re:Lies (2)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464615)

I'm not sure why you're comparing RoR and NodeJS to PHP and Java, so the following might feel a bit confused. This is my take.

The RoR fad is over and Ruby is starting to fall in popularity, so I don't expect to see it pass PHP (which, despite the hate, is actually growing).

The NodeJS fad is just beginning. I'm not comfortable making any predictions about it just yet, though I suspect it won't gain much ground in the near-term, for practical reasons. JavaScript, on the other hand, isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It seems to get more important every year.

Java is essentially dead on the browser. While it has a nice niche on the server, it's not really a significant player. Under Oracle, the best I can say is that its future is uncertain. Still, I wouldn't worry about starting a new Java project. If it's dying, it's got a lot of time to recover.

Anyhow, what I see isn't a lot of instability and change, but a rather stable and safe set of languages for the web.

PHP is practically ubiquitous, and owns quite a bit of the web (~80%). With lots of companies deeply invested in PHP for both public-facing sites and internal intranet apps, it's not going away any time soon. That makes it a very safe choice for new projects.

I don't think I need to explain why JavaScript isn't going anywhere. Love it or hate it, it's pretty much your only option. Java applets aren't coming back. While Flash is going to hang on for years, it's essentially dead and thus unsuitable for new projects. You're ultimately left with just two safe choices on the browser: "use JavaScript" or "don't use anything at all".

Looking back 10 years, things are basically the same. PHP was a smart choice for new projects, and JavaScript was still your only real choice on the browser -- though "nothing at all" was probably the smarter way to go at the time. (That's a long time. Think how much changed from 1993-2003 vs 2003-2013.)

So I'm just not seeing that "languages used to program on the web are changing all the time" like the parent asserts. What I've seen are a few of fads come and go, each failing to gain against a now near standard set of tools.

If "keeping current" means jumping on the latest bandwagon, count me out. I'll happily play with new things as they appear, but that's just for fun. I'd have to be crazy to make any sort of serious investment in what is very likely going to be the next passing fad. That said, I'll happily agree with you that new fads on the web appear infrequently enough that keeping up isn't difficult at all.

Re:Lies (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463121)

The market is good, you can get a job.

Re:Lies (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464481)

Also very important to finding a job, is to not be geeky and nerdy.

Yep.

And it's not just for the interview. Unless you are a code monkey working robotic-like to the requirements that someone else makes for you, you need to have people skills for the job.

You are probably not such a good coder if you don't have people skills. Just like it's hard to be "good" in bed if you are the only one there ...

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464733)

So does everyone else in IT. I was hired by my current employer as a tier1 technician back when we had Windows 95, and a single Novell 3.11 server in three locations. Now I am the infrastructure manager, we have 14 offices around the world, fully redundant MPLS WANs, about 20PB of data spread around all replicated in real time plus virtual desktops, video conferencing, VOIP, Sharepoint ports for internal and external use etc. All of this in about 10 years.

Re:Lies (1)

GoatCheez (1226876) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462617)

We're hiring competent developers. So is the rest of Tampa, FL. Every IT event around here is 75% recruiters. There's no shortage in this area.

Re:Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463223)

Where do you find "IT Events"? Is this an activity for which you need money to participate?

Re:Lies (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462801)

I have never met a competent developer who had trouble finding work. I HAVE met incompetent out-of-touch, burnt-out, full-of-themselves developers who can't find work. It's this second kind that think they're good but are not and who should be in another field.

By "burnt-out", of course, you mean "old". Try getting a job when you're over 50. It almost doesn't matter how good you are, the resumes get dumped automatically if you say your college degree is from the 70's.

Re:Lies (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464773)

I have never met a competent developer who had trouble finding work.

I HAVE met incompetent out-of-touch, burnt-out, full-of-themselves developers who can't find work. It's this second kind that think they're good but are not and who should be in another field.

So you're like 18, or something?

From mid-2001 to the same time in 2003 I spent more time not working than working. Headhunters all ran and hid. Before that, I had been part of the OS support team on one of the larger mainframes in town, solely responsible for several mission-critical products, then a developer for software for various different platforms. I was an early adopter of both C++ and Java, worked with J2EE before JSPs had been invented. I actually developed and brought one of the very first C++ compiler systems to the PC market.

These days, I have clients who are quite happy with my ability to resolve thorny technical issues and keep their business prosperous and growing.

But there have been fat times and there have been lean times. Be grateful if you haven't experienced the lean ones. Or if you have the people skills to keep Management loving you when they start kicking people with demonstrated abilities out on the street.

Some one forgot to tell (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461605)

Executives and project managers. Somehow they still think their ability to think of 'innovations ' is the only bottleneck.

Re:Some one forgot to tell (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463689)

The fun fact is that the opposite is true. It's not like there's any shortage on pipe dreams.

This just in (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461641)

Panel of members from a group declare said group important.

Power? For who? (4, Interesting)

djupedal (584558) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461647)

This is all about marketing power, and using devs as mouthpieces. Devs are always either agreeing or arguing, with the new ones either lapping up anything the older ones say or dissing them as crotchety and set in their ways. The only selling I see going on is on what resources to use and which to ignore, and there are always a basket of opinions going in different directions depending on which site you're on at the moment. If someone can find a way to milk them as a group, beyond, you know...developing stuff, then go for it, but to say they are king makers is a bit of a virtual stretch. Any marketer will see them as just another group.

Re:Power? For who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461675)

It's like LinkedIn, but in meat space.

Re:Power? For who? (4, Funny)

fat_mike (71855) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462251)

No offense but the first rule of marketing for a software company is "Hide the damn developers and for the love of everything good and sweet do not let them talk to stockholders or customers!"

Re:Power? For who? (3, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463693)

Yup. I noticed that devs tend to be truthful. Really insane bunch of geeks.

Re:Power? For who? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463949)

Truthfulness is so God damn awkward and unprofitable..

Re:Power? For who? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,29 days | (#44464003)

Not to mention that odd notion that information is best shared with others to multiply it. Who wants information to become more? Scarcity is the rule of the market!

Don Dodge? WTF???? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461687)

Isn't he the moron that started crying after Paul Graham published his dead-on "Microsoft is Dead"? The guy is a first-class dipshit.

Microsoft is dead (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463445)

When Paul Graham published the article in 2007, Microsoft has around 46 billion $ in revenue. Now Microsoft has around 78 billion $ in revenue. Looks like Paul Graham was the moron - the article has crossed 6 years to get vindicated.

Re:Microsoft is dead (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464081)

If it's the article I think you're talking about it was spot on, but you've misunderstood it.

He never claimed microsoft was dead as in about to go out of business. He claimed that the big bad microsoft, a threat to the entire industry was dead. He was right. Perhaps you don't remember the world from back in the 90s ad the wake of destruction microsoft left in its path. The big fear of almost any software company was that microsoft woule enter the area and destroy them.

I doubt github has ever had such a fear because that microsoft has died thankfully.

If you speak to old timers, they'll tell you of the days when IBM left fear and destruction in its wake and had the industry in a death like strangle hold. That IBM is dead too, even though they're pulling in $100bn in revenue.

Neither microsoft nor IBM have the industry dominance that they used to.

I have power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461691)

Funny. I could've sworn I've spent the last 15 or so years working day and night (well, mostly nights) on things that have earned me $0, no "credz" and no userbases. I feel so powerful! Yeah! Power to the developers!

Re:I have power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461821)

Maybe you should stop writing business database software and phone apps.

Re:I have power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461857)

Huh?

Re:I have power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462487)

That just proves you're lousy at picking a winner, regardless of whether or not you're a good developer.

I think we're misunderstanding (1)

maliqua (1316471) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461757)

that article was clearly written as a project during a self help seminar to build self esteem.

Ready for an H-1B increase? (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461785)

programmers — both independent ones and those employed by companies — have more power, and thus opportunities, than ever

Sounds like part of a campaign for an H-1B quota increase.

Re:Ready for an H-1B increase? (1)

Baldrson (78598) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462295)

That's exactly what it is.

Our Next Headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461789)

Our next headline - The NSA has gotten together and had a meeting and they all agree that the surveillance program isn't overreaching and they're doing a wonderful job. WTF people?

Yep (5, Funny)

ShooterNeo (555040) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461803)

In the long run (read : I mean the next 30 years), every job in existence has a programmer involved.

Manual Labor? In the long run, it'll be robots that do nearly all of it, and software is the only real obstacle that stops us from automating more tasks.

Manufacturing? Software problem. Healthcare? Most of a doctor's thinking could be automated with existing software techniques. (sure, not the physical procedures part, but that's only a portion)

Of course, in the LONG, LONG run, someone will advance the art of software to the point that we have software that can write itself, and then we're all out of work...

Re:Yep (1)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462167)

You mean Skynet... and we won't have much to worry about at that point.

Re:Yep (2)

Macchendra (2919537) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462307)

We are about 30 years out from recursively self-improved artificial intelligence, which is about 0.0001 years away from Skynet/The Borg/Agent Smith/etc. Hopefully by then we will have perfected Stupidamin(tm): the supplement that keeps you comfortable while watching television.

Re:Yep (3, Insightful)

Livius (318358) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462989)

Luckily in 20 years it will still be 30 years away, which will give us a little time.

Re:Yep (1)

Macchendra (2919537) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464997)

20 years ago, I was making computers hallucinate with neural networks.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44464131)

You mean Skynet...

and we won't have much to worry about at that point.

More accurately, we will have plenty to worry about at that point, but shortly thereafter all the worrying will stop.

Re:Yep (1)

roman_mir (125474) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463781)

Of-course that is the best outcome we can hope for, that everybody is out of work because everything we all need at any time in our lives is produced by mechanisms somehow.

Until that blissful moment arrives, people will have to work to satisfy their own demands as well as demands of others.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463801)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robotic_surgery

Behind the throne (1)

benmk (2819735) | 1 year,29 days | (#44461863)

"and others recently got together in San Francisco". So, others are still behind the throne, like always... Isn't it nice to play puppet master? Ninja in the shadows? Plus, a good developer's name just come out if he (maybe she!?) screwed up big time (definitely she!!).

Re:Behind the throne (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462577)

Isn't it nice to play puppet master?

Yes, but a lot of us prefer playing head chef these days.

By the way, no, you silly devs, you can't have root access to production.

*steps back into the shadows*

Re:Behind the throne (1)

Opportunist (166417) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463703)

By the way, no, you silly devs, you can't have root access to production.

*smug grin* You needn't give me what I already have had for a long, long time...

Re:Behind the throne (1)

jmcvetta (153563) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464405)

you can't have root access to production.

Who the fuck wants root access to production? Lotsa liability, little profit...

We'll screw it up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44461921)

We (software engineers and developers) are the dumbest group of skilled professionals in the history of skilled trades. No other field, no other economic opportunity has been so badly squandered as the field of software development -- ever.

Compare software engineers to doctors or lawyers. Both doctor's and lawyers have to pass exams. They are certified by boards of other professionals. If a doctor or lawyer screws up badly enough they lose their right to be a doctor or lawyer. Not software engineers. When a software engineer writes terrible code they are not disbarred and the screw up reflects poorly on the trade in general. No wonder people don't respect our field -- we don't respect it ourselves.

We've taken the secrets and tools of our trade, open sourced them, and created legions of arm chair professionals around the world who not only reflect badly upon our trade but undermine the very vitality of it. Why spend thousands of dollars to get a degree to compete on Craigslist for $6 and hour? How can we expect our customers to hire good developers when we don't give them any metric to use to rate good developers?

Re:We'll screw it up (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462149)

Both doctor's and lawyers have to pass exams. They are certified by boards of other professionals.

Do you mean the way that doctors form professional associations to limit the number of doctors allowed to practice? That is just to ensure that qualified immigrants and too many newly minted doctors don't lower their wages. That's what doctors do.

Why spend thousands of dollars to get a degree to compete on Craigslist for $6 and hour?

I sure hope that after getting a degree you are well above "competing on Craigslist for $6".

It kinda seems like you want to be in a union.

Re:We'll screw it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463691)

He does?

Re:We'll screw it up (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462423)

No wonder people don't respect our field -- we don't respect it ourselves. ... We've taken the secrets and tools of our trade, open sourced them

I definitely don't respect programmers who think they need to keep their source hidden in order to stay competitive.

Re:We'll screw it up (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464807)

No wonder people don't respect our field -- we don't respect it ourselves. ...
We've taken the secrets and tools of our trade, open sourced them

I definitely don't respect programmers who think they need to keep their source hidden in order to stay competitive.

I think more accurately, we don't respect our work.

There's too much of the "Git 'er Dun!" philosophy these days. System crash? Who cares? Have You Tried Powering it Off and Back On Again?

We're too obsessed with being "efficient" and being "productive" and not enough with the quality of what we produce. So we produce crap, people see that it's crap, don't respect our skills, and say "Any 10-year old kid can do software!" Because so much of what we as "professionals" produce looks like it came from 10-year old kids.

Re:We'll screw it up (5, Insightful)

Zenin (266666) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462489)

Here's the problem: Most all of what makes a good lawyer or doctor isn't at all about finding creative, novel ways to solve problems. Much the opposite in fact; Creative application of law or medicine is most likely to get you disbarred or thrown in jail. It's much easier to create a quantifiable exam when the subject matter is so well defined and creativity is shunned.

In software however, it's completely the opposite. Creative, novel application of existing technology and/or the invention of entirely new technology, is a good software developer's bread and butter. It's a big part of the essence of what makes them a good developer rather then a coding drone.

So how do you create an exam to quantify a good developer? By the very nature of what you're looking for the only "right" answers are "wrong" ones. But which wrong answer is right? That's completely subjective in an exam setting, however in the real world it's much easier to quantify: Your shit works and works well or it doesn't.

Re:We'll screw it up (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462557)

That's funny. I think most developers are held in high regard because they have NOT built a mote around the profession like doctors and lawyers.

I've seen too much doctoring done by nurses, too much law done by paralegals to have much respect for either profession. Then of course there's the whole, "Why don't you take this drug, you know the one with the same logo as the pen you used to sign the form?". This definitely happened to me. The drug? Celebrex, which wasn't even indicated for my condition. I said "no", because even then I was deeply suspicious of the way the drugs are marketed and the way the doctors were pushing them. Surprise, surprise, when this class of drugs was pulled for a while and brought back with a bunch of warnings.

And then we have the lawyers, writing the laws that become ever more complex so... you need a lawyer.

If anything, Open Source is a problem because it tends to require a developer for you to get mods in place. If anything, OS/FS makes software more like law, not less. At least there isn't broad consensus among all developers that we have to develop under OS/FS if we don't want to. Both models are allowed to compete, and under some circumstances proprietary wins and other some circumstances it doesn't.

Professional organization, cert body? No thanks.

Re:We'll screw it up (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462979)

Software engineer? bwahahaha, get the fuck over yourself you self-important twat. You're a fucking programmer.

Software Engineer.... shit... what a fucking insult to real engineers. Your profession is a goddamn disgrace. Engineer...hah, riiiiight

Re:We'll screw it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463635)

Software engineer? bwahahaha, get the fuck over yourself you self-important twat. You're a fucking programmer.

Software Engineer.... shit... what a fucking insult to real engineers. Your profession is a goddamn disgrace. Engineer...hah, riiiiight

Sounds like the only self important twat here is you. Make that ignorant self important twat seeing as you aren't capable of understanding how engineering principles apply to software dev.

Re:We'll screw it up (1)

narcc (412956) | 1 year,28 days | (#44464689)

Let's not pretend that programming is anything like engineering or any other type of professional work. Anyone can become a programmer in their spare time -- and build a career for themselves afterward. (It's not exactly difficult. Children can easily teach themselves computer programming. I'd bet that a sizable percentage of Slashdot users were hacking away on the family micro before the age of 10!)

The same can't be said for physicians, lawyers, electricians, plumbers, truck drivers, or hair-dressers. Think about that. The bimbo at the chain salon in the mall is held to a higher professional standard in her industry that the average developer.

The other AC is right: The "profession is a goddamn disgrace".

Re:We'll screw it up (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44465001)

Children can also teach themselves to cut hair. 30 minutes of googling and you can know how to perform most electrical or plumbing work.

What standard do you propose programmers should be held to? How do you suggest we assess the standard of something that features a large component of creativity?

A good developer will research areas, come up with novel solutions or adaptations of existing work, examine performance, consider the constraints of the platform and the application. If you can't see how the crossover with engineering and the requirement to be professional then the problem lies with you.

Reality (4, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462081)

My personal dilemma is that one of the few ways I can capitalize on my 40 years experience in computer programming is to make money training young people to go into the software profession.

Its hard to explain to folks who see my resume and employment status why I refuse to accept money to train train local young people.

First of all people aren't used to people with ethics. So they don't understand why I wouldn't want to take money from kids by leading them into pauperism.

Secondly they've been led to believe that domestic programmers with equal skills have an equal shot at the high income positions that are going to foreign aggressors. Its one of those things that's just too depressing to admit to one's self about the horror of the government's oppression of the citizens. This is especially true in rural areas where almost every family has a young man who has served in the military and either killed, or been indoctrinated that is is ok to kill for the government (if they, themselves haven't been permanently disabled if not killed).

Re:Reality (1)

alienzed (732782) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462159)

ah cynicism, it is strong in this one...

Mod parent up (1)

ulatekh (775985) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462439)

Amen. Three years ago, I moved 650+ miles to take a new job. Sequestration caused my team's contract to get cancelled. Tomorrow I move 200+ miles to take a new job.

Even with 20 years experience...I'm a freaking migrant worker.

Moms, don't let your kids grow up to be computer programmers.

Re:Mod parent up (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462515)

Opposite anecdote: I live in a major city on the West coast of the U.S., and I've never had a period of the last 7 years where I couldn't get a six figure offer when I wanted a new job. And I didn't even have to move.

The lesson from your travels isn't that being a computer programmer is a bad gig. It's that you shouldn't move to a place where there is only one job. Move to a major metropolitan area, and you can earn a lot of money with virtually zero unemployment in the field.

Re:Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462853)

There's not really too many jobs that aren't like that now. We've gotten rid of things like companies that give a shit about the community they're in --- e.g., fleeing an area as soon as they're required to pay taxes like any other business -- and unions are now considered much worse than the employers who ship jobs overseas or bring in unnecessary H1Bs so they can shaft them on pay. Most of us are unwilling participants in the race to the bottom.

Is this true? (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462143)

I can't imagine this being true.

all the power? (4, Funny)

alienzed (732782) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462153)

I for one welcome our new developer overlords...

And behind all those developers stand... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462321)

...the sys admins that make certain the servers stay up so those developers can code, test, and deploy.

In Other News...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462467)

Racehorse owners discuss the growing power of the racehorses....

Fresh from Rome (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462517)

"Pope Francis, former Pope Benedict and others recently got together in The Vatican on a panel called 'Jesus is King: The Power Behind God.' According to coverage of the event, the panelists all agreed that Catholics — both regular people and priests — have more power, and thus opportunities, than ever. Even the marketing power of the papacy was acknowledged: 'The only way to convince a Catholic is by giving them a wafer and showing them how it's the body of Christ,' said Preston-Werner. 'The beauty is, you plant these seeds around the world, and those people will evangelize it for you. Because another thing that Catholics are great at is telling other people what works for them.'"

That was really easy. I didn't even have to change "evangelize."

/. works for me (1)

AlanBDee (2261976) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462543)

So does TechSNAP and the Linux Action Show. WebSphere on the other hand.... I hate IBM!

If the developers are king at your organization... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44462671)

...odds are you won't around much longer.

I have seen this time and time again where software developers, for fear of being outsourced or commoditised, complicate their roles to include marketing analysis, strategic management, project management etc. In the end you end up with developers responsible for everything, and delivering it all in a very inefficient fashion.

Worse yet, your organisation is dependent on a select few people, rather than neatly delineating roles, and pooling the risk in a handful of decision makers (because they read Joel on Software?).

Developers are the modern blue collar worker of the information age. Pretending they can do it all is a recipe for disaster.

What an empty fluff piece (4, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | 1 year,29 days | (#44462803)

Not one example of developers succeeding or what they might have done to stand out in a sea of offshore contractors, but a bunch of self-congratulatory pap about how successful their own businesses are. And not ONE developer in the panel -- all pompous management taking the credit for themselves.

Yup. Developers are KING (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,29 days | (#44463239)

...right after

1) Shareholders (reason why we're in business)
2) Customers (who pays the bills?)
3) Salespeople (who brings in the customers?)
4) Top management (whose vision makes the difference between a big success and an also-ran?)
5) Marketing (who identifies and attracts the customers?)
6) Finance and accounting (who brings in investments and manages the cash so we can stay in business?)
7) Lobbyists (who ensures that the government doesn't pass taxes and other legislation that would interfere with our business plans?)
8) Press relations (who gets the word out to Wall Street so we can attract investment?)
9) Recent college graduates (who will provide the 'fresh blood' and intimate knowledge of technological trends that will carry us into the future?)
10) Offshore developers (who makes it possible to keep costs down so that #1-9 can be satisfied?) ....

Don Dodge (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | 1 year,29 days | (#44463471)

Is he the guy in Mad Men?

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