Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Real programmers are not born they are SELF-made

There must be a thousand blog posts out there saying what makes a good developer or how to train developers or how a developer should improve their skills, etc, etc... But no matter how many of them I read I always come back to one basic requirement for a good developer - They have to want to be a developer.

There is no way to over stress the importance of choice and motivation, you can put dollar signs in front of someone and they will study programming at uni and get a job, but a job is all they will ever think of it as. Real programmers think of it as a calling, it's not what they do its what they are.

I've worked with certifiable geniuses who were incredibly knowledgable and competent developers, but they were never going to be the best developers out there because it was a only a means to an end. Programming was something they did for a paycheque or to facilitate another project that actually held their passion.

A real developer (and I realise people will challenge my use of that term) is someone who writes a program to see the program run, not because they value the output.

If you have that drive, if you have the will to program for its own sake, if it's as much an interest, hobby, and life style as it is a job. Then you are a real developer - You will seek out and read the blog posts on what training you should have, on what books you should read, on what skills you should develop because you want to be trained, you want to read and you want to have the skills.

A real developer (and this applies to almost any field) is someone with the passion to drive their personal development, their career path and their life along the path towards the goal of being a developer first and foremost.

I can compress every "real programmer" test on the internet into a single question:
Q: If you won the lottery today and would never have to work again as long as you live, with enough money to do everything you ever wanted - would you be writing code in 12 months time?
If the answer is "Yes" then you are a real programmer. You program for the joy of the activity as much as the outcome.

If you answer "No" then maybe programming is just something you're doing until something better comes along.

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