LinuxHappy's Weblog

Failures and Successes of Linux-based Development

Reflecting on my CS degree

Posted by linuxhappy on October 2, 2009

I was told during my college days (2001-05/06) that “coding isn’t everything there’s more to computer science than just code”. I’d like to say.. well… yes.. this is true, for people who can’t code very well. Perhaps my professors were saying it to students who couldn’t code very well to make them not feel so bad.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m feeling that this whole software industry somehow got turned into a whole creamy mess with people saying things like “oh. you.. can get away with not coding and make a living out of it”, or “coding isn’t everything”. Why do we allow employees (of software companies) to be so divorced from code and allow them to do something like… go to meetings all day, or write papers all day, or.. something to that effect. With the rate of change in the software field, being divorced code for more than a couple of weeks just isn’t an option! People get out of practice, and somehow they get promoted along the years and somehow manage to reach a title as silly as “senior software engineers”, or as I would like to put “so far out of reach of developing software, you need to take a entry level position because you need to completely retrain yourself”. How do these people successfully design systems in the absence of code? (Unless they’re developing/designing the same thing over and over again– which in today’s technological saavy world seems not innovative..and.. well.. retarded.. perhaps a short-term profitable market?) The sad part is, they can’t.

By the time they design the system, they’re long gone trying to design something new, and when who do they call in when the design doesn’t work? The people who got the requirements? The awesome senior guys who forgot how to develop code? How about the Managers? No. It’s the freakin developers. CODE IS EVERYTHING. gah. Perhaps this is where Agile came from.. Designing the system with the presence of code — doing short iterations — getting frequent customer feedback– ahh.. yes… yes..

So, to all you current self-educating, self-motivated, constant-improving software coders– don’t let the requirements/design people (if your company/group has a separate group of people dedicated for that) tell you what to do– you’re the closest to the software, and you probably know it the best. You’ve been trained to write scalable, testable, robust, fault tolerant, secure, software — so do it.. don’t let guys 10 or 20 years out of college tell you what to do ( unless they’re guru’s in their field ) cause 99/100 times, they’re retarded.

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