re: The "Elitist Developer" Debacle VIEW POST


I've been a programmer for close to a decade and been everything from a hobbyist hacker to a mentor to junior devs to a consultant and "go to Golden boy". However, more recently I've been the guy who is repeatedly frustrated with the difficulty of finding new work because the kids with community college degrees and happen to use React a lot (which I don't), and the requirement for all engineers to be "Full Stack"(which is like saying you want your roofer to also be able to do your plumbing and electrical which is stupid and dangerous).

To me, I believe imppster syndrome is so prevalent in software engineering for two main reasons. The first is related to the non-technical of the wod. Most people in the world know nothing about software. Therefore, they believe that devs, engineers and architects are infallible and are EXTREMELY hard on us when we make mistakes. Everybody from sales and marketing to management and the executive folks to the user's and customers can't understand how mistakes can happen. "What do you mean AWS experienced downtime? What has that got to do with us?" or my personal favorite "I don't know what a 'Cloudflare' is and I'm very sorry to hear they're undergoing maintenance. But seeing as I care mainly about OUR problems, get our load times back to normal in Tokyo!!!" The result is that we feel like we cannot, under any circumstances, be human. To which I say: Doctors around the world are allowed to glance at a chart and provide a wrong diagnosis to at least one patient every. single. day, then get a pay raise and stock options. But if we take our foot off the gas for a single second, most of us are disciplined. And doctors go to school for at least twice the time that a lot of developers do just to get their first job.

Second point is that most of the "elite" developers of the world are EXTREMELY good at selling themselves, their abilities, and their ideas. I'm going to say it: extroverted developers are usually perceived as ninjas/gurus/10x developers because they are LOUD about what the rest of us do silently every day. This is not always the case but it rings true in all fields. Those who find things to brag about are usually the ones who go furthest (at least initially) and make the rest of us look and feel worse about ourselves even if we can build circles around those people.

All in all, it's a tough scene because most of us love the machine's than we do the people (at least I do) and don't feel the need to blow a trumpet ahead of ourselves wherever we go. And we also WANT to do a good job so we take the unjust punishment for everyday mishaps very hard.

That's why meetups, both with friends and the "sign up for on meetup.com" kind, are so important. So that we can refresh and get back to doing what we're best at. Dev is great for that because we find support here instead of apathy. But there are many times where we need to get away from social media, stop writing on Medium for a few days, and get back to the scope of our lives where we are brilliant, important, and very loved by those close to us.

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