Parody or real? A girl software developer

May 30, 2008

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.  

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2 Responses to “Parody or real? A girl software developer”

  1. sarajolene Says:

    Hi Thomas, I am a real girl… I believe there still are “just coding” jobs out there…. however, after I get more experience under my belt I’m going to have t move up the ladder for fear of becoming the antiquated COBOL developers of today. So far my mission is to become an Systems Architect… I think that’s a grown up nerd that’s not stuck in the coding position or in the business end of things (too much).

    Anyway, you can check out my blog at GirlDeveloper.com… glad to see people are reading!

  2. thomaslfowler Says:

    Some say Java is already the next COBOL… Good luck on the architect ambition, I made the transition about 3 years ago. I’m still not sure what my job description is, other than dealing with all sides on a project and doing what needs to be done. Problem with “architecture” is just that, it’s really not well defined and there are lots of different architect titles. Will look at the blog.


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