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“Programmers (and Their Bosses) Should Take Note”

From: Seth Dillingham In Response To: Top of Thread.  
Date Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2006 3:45:41 PM Replies: 0
Enclosures: None.

Every programmer ("software developer") with whom I've discussed Steve Yegge's recent article, Good Agile, Bad Agile, has had a similar comment: "I think I'd like to work there."

Further discussion usually reveals that the person (myself included) might not want to actually work at Google, but most definitely wants to work in an environment like Steve describes.

Steve describes what I love about being self-employed. Most of the time, I'm working on software that I care about, and when business is going well I'm able to work at my own pace. (When I'm really interested in or enthused about the project or product I'm developing, "my own pace" could mean "almost non-stop for days on end" or something a little healthier.) I even have those food-related perks that Steve mentions!

Attitudes about software development, such as Steve ascribes to Google, could transform our industry if enough of us read and retell stories like Steve's and decide that we won't settle for (much) less.

To be clear: I don't mean "transform our industry" in the sense of giving us all cushy jobs where we can eat all we want and be spoiled rotten. That's simply a means to the real end, the real transformation. The real transformation is that the quality of the software will improve because more of us will be creating something we care about, and releasing it when it's done rather than simply when it's usable.

An Example from My Own Recent Experience

Bare Bones recently allowed me (as a contractor) to work on an important feature until it was done. I smile every time I think about that, even though I finished it over a week ago! Yes, there were some scheduling constraints (Meaning I couldn't keep working on it forever. Obviously.), but they wanted something of high enough quality that we could all say, "It's done." (We've since had ideas for some new features that could be added in future revisions, but that's a train that just never stops rolling...) When's the last time you wrote software for someone else (employer or client), and didn't have to release it until you felt it was DONE? It feels good, let me tell you.

Google's definitely on to something, and I hope it catches on.

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