Datamation is running a series of columns from Sara Chipps (sp. Chips?) that I cannot determine if they are the serious musings of a real female software developer, or if it is some kind of parody. This posting, “Natural Programmers (Code Monkeys) vs. Career Programmers (Geeks in Suits)” is an almost wistful throwback to the good old days of being in IT, having fun doing little with your life other than writing code. Not the current reality of offshoring, the demand for “business facing” IT people, the distain for developing code by the ladder climbers. The “natural programmer,” the throwback. The “career programmer,” well more like what is in vogue these days, you could say.
“Natural Programmers” or (code monkeys for the sake of this article) are the kids who spent 70 percent of their youth attached to a keyboard (and the other 30 percent dodging school and overcoming social awkwardness). They’re the adults that make the technical connections and discoveries that seem uncanny, the programmer that designs amazingly architected systems.
“Career Programmers” (or developers) are excellent businessmen; they’re single-minded in making their bosses happy, and in making efficient, cost effective solutions.
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.