[lug] Developer abuse

Nate Duehr nate at natetech.com
Tue Nov 16 20:40:22 MST 2004

David Morris wrote:

>This reminds me of a discussion I had many years ago with
>someone.  If you look at *any* other area of engineering
>there are Engineers and Technicians.  The Engineers are what
>makes the project possible and make it a success, but it is
>the technicians who do the most important part of the work.
True, true.

>Admittedly this model doesn't fit the software engineering
>process directly, but it does to some extent.  Technicians
>are needed to implement a lot of the details of creating and
>running tests, tracking down bugs, implementing specialized
>bits of code, and many other tasks. Some technicians
>naturally become engineers over time, but others are more
>suited to being a technician than to being an engineer.
I fall into the "forever Technician" category pretty well.  Got promoted 
into management once, and I personally felt that was a fiasco (for me 
anyway - I hate babysitting for a living).  "Lead" tech jobs also are 
generally the same feeling - who wants to babysit other techs.

I end up with "Senior" tech titles nowadays, which I think means I have 
a few white hairs in my beard and head, and a few more "You *really* 
don't want to do it that way" stories to share.

>>"Programmers" resist this change.  Especially new
>>programmers, because the schools and training facilities
>>are not equipped to handle this change yet.
>Hmm, its always been my experience the old programmers are
>the hardest to get to change as they've always done it that
>way so isn't that good enough?  <shrug>  But then I've had a
>rather atypical environment where I learned software
Heh, well I was thinking that the newbie programmers want jobs, but 
would not be able to get all the tests done right away... but you're 
right... a bunch of old fuddy programmers would just laugh at having a 
test requirement anyway...

The business of making software today is a prime example of the old 
axim: "You do what you always do, you get what you always got."  Some 
chaos-theory thrown in too.  ;-)

Those that actually *do* true Software ENGINEERING aren't doing the 
norm, and their results are usually a helluva lot better than everyone 
else, too. Generally it takes longer and costs more, but when they're 
done, there's not five years of re-work and bug-fixes ahead, either.


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