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Development is Hard

Oren, as he often does, hits the nail bang on with his latest post Cuddling is consider harmful.

Development is hard, and getting harder all the time. For every new framework that comes out to simplifying the complexity of the code we write, another two technologies hit the market. For every practice and principle we get to grips with, two other will evolve. The better we make software, the more users expect.

Not only is development itself hard, but you have to be constantly learning and adapting to stay in the game - it is an endless race.

As Oren says:

Development requires a lot of skill, it requires quite a lot of knowledge and at least some measure of affinity. It takes time and effort to be a good developer. You won't be a good developer if you seek the "X in 24 Hours" or "Y in 21 days". Those things only barely scratch the surface, and that is not going to help at all for real problems.

The rewards can be high, but the tradeoff is that you must work for your money, both in terms of producing real results, in keeping yourself educated, and in being aware of what is happening in the wider field, and that requires time and effort.

And yes, a lot of the people who call themselves developers should put down their keyboards and go home.

I cannot help but agree. If you aren't willing to put in the time and effort, then you probably should be in an easier profession.

This isn't an elitist rant on my part, nor I am sure on Oren's - it is merely an observation that things don't come for free, and hard work and dedication can pay off. We all have to start somewhere, and for those people I would offer every encouragement and helping hand, but in return you must put the effort in, and strive to be better.

 


Posted 09-23-2008 9:30 PM by Jak Charlton

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Comments

Dew Drop - September 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew wrote Dew Drop - September 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew
on 09-24-2008 9:10 AM

Pingback from  Dew Drop - September 24, 2008 | Alvin Ashcraft's Morning Dew

Bill Pierce wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-24-2008 11:21 AM

I keep trying to convince my wife that cuddling is harmful.  Perhaps this post will do the trick :)

-Bill

DoniG wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-24-2008 12:05 PM

For a true geek, cuddling may be harmful. I think he meant coddling. Then again...

Stephen Smith wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-25-2008 2:43 AM

In the .NET space how many fair dinkum (true) LEARNING environments are there where the toolsets, Microsoft or otherwise, are considered means and not ends in themselves, where the objective is always to increasingly learn to deliver more business value, early and often, to satiate the user communities' expectations. Learning environments where everyone wants to learn and to share their lerarning with their peers. How does a team become so much more than the sum of its parts?

My rant would be that as a general rule in the Microsoft development community instead of responding to increasing business expectations with more productive practices and learning how to better apply basic principles, we have a tendency to wait for the next visual designer or tool from Microsoft which Microsoft marketing tells us will address the development issues that are confronting us. The tools become the ends in themselves.

Are 99% of us .NET developers just Morts? Where are fair dinkum LEARNING environments in our community?

Casey wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-25-2008 3:05 AM

@Bill & Donni

Yes he changed his title to Coddling, eloquent as he is, we often forget he is not a native English speaker!  ... I prefer Cuddling though, so I left it :)

DZone member wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-25-2008 2:07 PM

"If you aren't willing to put in the time and effort, then you probably should be in an easier profession."

Casey: What are different examples of an 'easier' profession that brings similar monetary benefits, challenge -- and the so-called satisfaction of doing things??

Today, the entire country is in a crisis mode, young graduates are already turning themselves away from the programming profession. Titles (note - I said 'titles') of such blog posts should be chosen carefully and reflect effective solutions as well. I know, I know, you say at the end of your blog post "... I would offer every encouragement and helping hand, but in return you must put the effort in, and strive to be better.". That's good attitude, great in fact. But, if majority of people only read your blog post title and not the content (just like here on the formats of DZone - not to pick on DZone, it is a good service), it only helps to spread only the negative word, plus very fast in today's media.

After all, senior developers like us have some additional responsibility to bear - just a little more than the average. We are not Gods by any means.

Last but not the least - thank you for your blog post.

Jak Charlton wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-26-2008 2:42 AM

>>But, if majority of people only read your blog post title and not the content (just like here on the formats of DZone - not to pick on DZone, it is a good service), it only helps to spread only the negative word, plus very fast in today's media.

<<<

An interesting point, but would the kind of person who skim reads titles be an appropriate person to be a developer?

And sadly development generally pays so well (even to people with little ability) that a significant number of people are in it purely for the money, and not for the satisfaction of doing a job well.

I had the option yesterday of renewing my contract, and I was in  perfect position to demand a significant raise in rate and the head of the project would have had no option but to agree - he asked "ok, so what do you want" laughing in a way that said "here comes the rate increase request" - I told him that I wasn't interested in a higher rate - finishing the project was a personal committment I had made to him, and the financial aspect was not my motivation. That is my committment to my profession.

Jean-Francois Poilpret wrote re: Development is Hard
on 09-26-2008 12:53 PM

I believe that the need to continuously learn new frameworks, techniques and even languages, is what makes the developer's job interesting. Try to imagine yourself working in C all your professional life (40 years or so) with always the same libraries (and I don't talk about assembly). I could not! I am grateful to people (in particular in the OSS community) and organizations for bringing us new things to learn on an almost daily basis.

Of course, the downside is that you may feel you will never have enough time to catch up, but you have to make choices, anyway you cannot know every single language and framework that exist.

Of course, not all developers are like this. Some develop for a living; that's fair, too, but for them, yes, it will be harder, because they WILL have to spend some time learning (generally outside working time) in order to keep current with technologies.

I'm in the "passionate developer" category, hence I don't count my time on trying to be aware of what's new, evaluating new frameworks (or building projects on these), learning new languages (that I may never use professionally, but that will still develop my way of thinking and will bring me some indirect benefits).

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