The USS Quad Damage

Porgammers and Dvelepers

Everyone thinks they know everything, but they're all stupid doodooheads.

Remember those conversations in high school when people would try and differentiate “nerds” from “dorks”, and claim that one was better than the other, and that you were the superior one, and someone else was the inferior one? The conversation went something like this:

Nerds are smart, but Dorks are just plain outcasts, they don’t have the smarts that nerds have. You’re like a nerd, because you’re not cool, but at least you’re smart. John over there’s like a total dork, because he’s a retard.

We were cruel back then, but have we really changed? Hacknot (the site wasn’t up when I tried to go there, but here’s the digg page) wrote a long article about how “software developers” are worlds apart from “software programmers”. The wikipedia article doesn’t seem to make that distinction, and neither does (just in case you think wikipedia is full of heathens). Why is it, then, that Mr Hacknot makes such an impassioned arguement to the idea of separating programmers and developers?

I think it’s because he wants to be one of them, and not the other, because one is cool (according to him) and the other is not. When I first read the article, I thought he was talking about Computer Scientists (as “programmers”) vs Software Engineers (as “developers”). I was going to spend a while talking about how a lot of the arguements he’s making are of the straw man variety. Computer scientists like to code, but painting them out the way he was doing so was ridiculous.

However, a friend told me that he was probably talking about people without a tertiary education, who have only a passing understanding of the discipline of writing computer software. I think that’s equally ridiculous, because you cannot determine someone’s attitude by their level of education. What I think he was really saying was “Nah dude, it's OK, you're a developer, you're one of the cool ones, it's those TAFE students who are uncool!” At the end of the day I decided that the article held no value, because the two groups he was trying to differentiate between didn’t really exist.

I think the very first comment on digg describes it perfectly:
bq. Oh, so developers are elite, and the author is elitier than thou because you are just a programmer and he is a “developer”. Well, I’m a “computer scientist”, so nyahh nyahh!

I like the fact that people “of the sciences” are more in touch with the child within them, but let’s grow up a little, OK?