[lug] Career advice

Michael J. Hammel mjhammel at graphics-muse.org
Sat Jan 2 11:49:47 MST 2010

On Fri, 2010-01-01 at 18:43 -0700, Rob Nagler wrote:
> On 1/1/10, Michael J. Hammel wrote:
> > Coding is as much a career as "Albertson's bag boy".
> I'm trying to figure out how to respond to this.  I just admitted being
> a coder.  Not taking this personally, I guess you are saying that I
> either don't have a career (which I do) or that I'm as well-paid as
> a bag boy (which I'm not).

No.  I simply think underestimate yourself.

You have a career.  It's just not "coder".  I read your other reply.
Whether you realize it or not, you're not just a coder.  You're a
problem solver.  You architect solutions.  Coding is just an
implementation.  Coding is not a career.  It's a job.  Part of a career.
Not the the complete career.

You may call yourself coder, as I call myself, but you are also
architect, as am I.  It isn't by choice we acquire that title.  It is by

Please note that "career" does not imply "long term effort to achieve
more money and better status".  On the contrary.  Career is about doing
what you do, doing it the best that you can, and learning everything
associated with it to do both.  The last part is what differentiates
"coder" from "architect".

I'm happy being a coder.  I just know there is more to me than
that.  :-)

BTW, I don't think I mentioned money in any of this.  I've repeatedly
told my boss that coders (myself included) are overpaid.  I stand by
that.  Anyone can code.  Problem solvers (and good leaders) are hard to
find.  However, he has refused to lower my salary, much to my wife, my
daughter and my dog's relief.
Michael J. Hammel                               
mjhammel at graphics-muse.org / http://www.graphics-muse.org
I personally do not believe in object orientation as a security model
(nor as a general programming paradigm), but feel free to try to
convince me. -- Linus Torvalds

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