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» How to be a Super Programmer?

Software Engineer, Programmer

Jeremy Zawodny and Mark Paschal has interesting observations about software engineers and programmers.

Jeremy Zawodny: Seeing both sides; “It’s a rare engineer who can see both sides of the coin: the technology and its application toward achieving a company’s business goals.”

Mark Paschal: Are there programmers; “ There are people who know how to program, just as there are people who know how to write, or to read French.”

Jeremy continues:

However, there’s a stranger breed that I’ve encountered: the engineer who has somehow forgotten how to look at things from a traditional software engineer’s perspective. This odd creature has little trouble explaining how his work supports the company’s broader goals. Yet he has difficultly communicating with the more common engineers--those who mainly see technology.

If these people are incapable of producing good designs, may be they are good at marketing themselves. During the technology boom, software engineering became a very lucrative field. That might’ve had an effect on making this category of engineers.

May be like people who love automobiles go for mechanical engineering rather than looking forward to becoming automobile salesmen.

That said, software engineering or programmer is not an elitist club. Anybody who can read 1 + 1 = 2 and figure out 2 - 1 = 1 purely based on the first expression can be a good programmer. Using Jeremy’s terms, people who can see two sides of a coin make good programmers.

People who can also see the outer edge and the grooves of the coin make good software engineers. Programmers generally blossom into good software engineers when they see, feel and understand the need for boundaries and perimeters. After that, they start seeing the coin from outside-in rather than inside-out. I guess it is what can be called "envisioning" or "architecting".

On that note, it is interesting to see what Mark concluded about programmers.

There are people for whom programming is difficult, but they only have gaps in their education. It takes a particular mindset to write good software, just as not everyone can be a top-shelf chef or stunt car driver, but with enough work and practice you can acquire it. Itís just easier for some than for others.
  1. That first quote is Mark Bernstein's, his post being what made me wonder in the first place. Guess I should've used quote marks since I was taking his entire sentence.

    Posted by: Mark Paschal on December 16, 2002 09:18 PM