October 29, 2015

...Learn TDD with Codemanship

Software Developers: Are You Tired Of Unqualified People Telling You How To Do Your Job?

Are you a software developer? A real one, who does actual programming and technical architecture and build automation and testing and stuff?

Have you - in some language(s) on some platform(s) - created valuable working software for a real customer in the real world by yourself? Have you created valuable working software for a real customer in the real world working in a team?

Are you tired of being told what to do, and being spoken for, by people who are not software developers and don't understand software development? Do you wish you, your team and your profession had more of a say in things; more of a voice?

Do you believe that software developers get the best results when:

a. We work in small teams with other skilled developers?

b. We work directly with the customer and end users?

c. We are left to make the technical decisions that we are best qualified to make?

d. We have control over who we work with, who can take leadership on what based on their expertise, and make developer hiring decisions?

e. We are not micromanaged and are responsible for how we use our time?

f. We work the way we believe works best, and are measured solely on what we deliver?

g. We decide how to bring new and inexperienced junior developers up to speed, and we decide when they're ready to work unsupervised, which we believe any real software developer should be able to?

If you answered "yes" to all these questions, then you're not alone. I've yet to meet a software developer who didn't have any war stories about clueless managers, micromanagement, lack of respect for them and their team, being forced to work with trainees who didn't know they were trainees, and being forced to work in dysfunctional ways because they had absolutely no say in it.

I think it's high time we took responsibility for our fate. I believe these things happen because we let them happen. But I appreciate just how seemingly impossible it is to be the lone voice on a team - the one person who stands up and says "this is all wrong". The typical end result is a rapid exit from the team, with no improvement in the team's prospects.

At the risk of summoning the ghosts of Marx and Lenin, what's needed is a bit of basic solidarity.

90% of software developers are perfectly happy producing crap and not rocking the boat. And they and their customers are welcome to it.

But the remaining 10% of us who actually give a damn need to be a bit more organised, lest we doom ourselves to frustrating careers locking swords fruitlessly with the other 90%. Been there, done that, wiped the blood off the t-shirt.

So - and I'm sure I'll live to regret this - I'm wondering if the time has come for the 10% to get together and join a sort of "club". I'm not sure what form this club might take, or exactly how we gain entrance to it, but I am increasingly convinced that the club is needed.

Call it a "guild", call it an "alliance", or an "institute": nay matter. What matters is the need for a network of moral support, congregating under a banner defined by the desire and the ability to do real software development, unhindered by unqualified managers and incompetent team members trying to drive the bus.

Who's with me?

Posted 4 years, 11 months ago on October 29, 2015