Is software your vocation or just a job? 

When I was a tutor at university, there were three main types of students I saw in the lab: the Googlers who would search for an answer or three (in those days Experts Exchange, today Stack Overflow), mangle something together then either figure it out and simplify or give up ; the ones who cared about the craft of software development and usually just needed a nudge in the right direction with a good question or two (I remember a couple of girls telling me they liked me as a tutor because I helped them feel smart, figuring it out for themselves) ; and the ones who just wanted to do enough to get a job. 

I’ve nothing against the folks doing it just  the money, but those are the people that waterfall is for. They need structure and guidance to perform well, and that tends to happen in places where software is a component in an expensive system that has to be built by committee in a waterfall fashion. Sometimes they’ll be promoted to management and make a good job of it, sometimes they’ll be left behind by the thinkers on the team. 

The ones who think, the ones who ask questions, and who never accept “That’s the way we’ve always done things” as an answer are the ones built for modern software-as-a-solution development. The Googlers can become thinkers if they take ownership of what they wrote, or if it’s a clue for them to apply to their own code. 

If you’re not a thinker. I hope I never encounter your code outside a warning. 

2 replies on “Is software your vocation or just a job? ”

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