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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a developer

As pointed out by Andry, Justin James' 10 signs that you are not cut out to be a developer is an absolutely obligatory reading for anyone.

Here is the checklist, go there for the details:

  • You’d rather be trained than self-teach
  • You like regular working hours
  • You prefer regular raises to job-hopping
  • You do not get along well with others
  • You are easily frustrated
  • You are close-minded to others’ ideas
  • You are not a "details person"
  • You do not take personal pride in your work
  • You prefer to shoot first and ask questions later
  • You do not like the geek type of person

My favorite is the close-mindness. Long time ago, I was told by someone that in order to be a great programmer (substitute this with other type of profession), you must unconditionally accept the fact that there are better ones than you. Only then you can reach the "enlightment".

Which one is your favorite?


Sebastian Sauer said...

I like most the

#5: You are easily frustrated

...spending eight hours to do what appears to be 10 minutes’ worth of work...

Maybe one of the reasons why I like FOSS and KDE so much since there it's <5 minutes of work to get the 10 minutes one done :)

Quintesse said...

Nice article, except for the "You like regular working hours".

After some 12 years in the business I can say that I really like regular working hours, and my boss can drop dead if he thinks he can expect me to put in regular OT. We have a contract that says 40 hours and that's it. I don't mind doing OT once in a while but I do mind when it's a sign of a structural failure of management to plan correctly or when it's done to further the sales departments' figures when it's not them having to do the OT.

Ariya Hidayat said...

@sebastian sauer: good point. the difference perhaps lies in the fact that when you do something with passion, it could be 100x faster.

@quintesse: agree. flexible working hours might be the key here.

Brandybuck said...

I must not be cut out to be a developer! Nice to know that I'm expected to work irregular hours, can't use classes to quickstart learning new topics, and should limit your career by jumping ship rather than accepting raises.

Anonymous said...

I would even scratch flexible working hours from that list. As long as you are young and have no other obligations working over-time or on different times of day (or night) is less of a problem. But once you have other obligations, like your own family, you have to pretty much sync your work schedule with your private one (for instance, for bringing the kids to school) unless you are willing to let your family life suffer for you job. I don't get why software developers/architects should be treated any different at least when it comes to working hours.


Andreas Aardal said...

Hm. He's making it sound like being an outsider, weirdo, pimplefaced loser who works for 22h a day, eats take-away every day and stays clear of both the gym and the girls, just because of that, you're actually a misunderstood genious. What a teenage dream. ;-)

OctoberMan said...

There are no "magic" lists that dictate what you are cut out to be, people change.

No really, I'm serious. People actually change drastically as they grow mentally (people never stop growing mentally, observer a 40er going into his 50s for example).

So people should refrain from posting such lists, what would you do if the next Linus read 'em and thought he is "not cut out to be a developer" and that "the magical list has spoken"? How can you sleep at night? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

Well, that aside, you don't know if a person is cut out to be a developer until they start. I know some *great* developers that according to this list shouldn't be (most of those are in reality rude and close-minded, although they don't act like that when coding). And did I mention that most developers I met behave differently when developing? Yeah, I should tell you that.

Final thought: I hope my hate for magic lists didn't make this comment too flamey. But change is constant you know.