re: We believe in open-source, so why can't everyone code? VIEW POST


While I agree with the fact that developers are not recognizable from their look (I know some more examples), it is still wrong to assume that anyone can write code. The sad fact is that very few people are developers.


I worry about the optics of "very few people are developers" if it risks making inexperienced or alternate-path devs feel like they're not part of the in-crowd. Correctness aside, I feel that it's more beneficial to start with "everyone can code" and make exceptions as needed, rather than to start with "only a few elite people can code" and vaguely rule out some number of capable people by default.

I'm a big fan of the "normal developer." In an industry as saturated with apps and ideas as the one we're in, not everyone needs to be a NASA-qualified TDD zealot who knows big-O notation and can balance a binary tree. In fact, it seems like the market demands a larger number of copy-and-paste, code-gluing, hack-until-it-works scrappers.

All the same, you're totally right that we shouldn't assume everyone should be a dev. Not everyone enjoys this kind of work.


Not everyone enjoys this kind of work.

I know, you have to have a sick mind to enjoy debugging javascript. ;)

I'm a big fan of the "normal developer."

Me too. You can move mountains with a team of passionate, average folks, than a handful of rock stars with biased opinions.

This is my philosophy I'm applying to #jellyfin. I'm taking some folks that are new to the game or just feel like they aren't good enough and help them contribute to the project and learn best-practices.

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jonathan-irvin / jelly-fin

A simple way to manage your finances with forecasting. We should automate our money, not make it automate us.

Jelly Fin

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Finances are hard. It's one of the first adulting things everyone has to wrestle with. So, let's make it easy and automate it. Over the course of several years, my wife and I have tracked our finances using a forecasting method and had done it all within a spreadsheet. The time came where I wanted to take this concept and make it mobile using serverless architecture and clean design.

Getting Started

These instructions will get you a copy of the project up and running on your local machine for development and testing purposes. See deployment for notes on how to deploy the project on a live system.


Node v8.x.x or use NVM

Installing and Running

  1. Clone the repo.
  2. Run npm install to cover any dependencies.
  3. Run npm start and follow the prompts to run the App in Expo.

Running the tests

After installing all prerequisites and dependencies…


I would tend to disagree. Anyone can be a developer but not everyone is a software engineer. With the distinction around the discipline. The software development world is multi-variate. I've seen some great developers but they lack architectural disciplines or focus completely on optimization and less on maintainability.

I generally bucket software developers and software engineers into two buckets with a gradient of from one to the other demarcated by discipline and craftsmanship. I don't think skill or ability to mentor necessarily plays into their growth, although at the extremes, it does.

I think every entry level software maker is a developer with a very narrow focus towards solving problems. As their skills, scope and ability grow, they become more senior. However, if they science their way through development and grow in skill and discipline, the are actually leveraging engineering qualities.


So where do you draw the line between "coders" and "developers"?

I usually don't, unless its a medical transcription term (I work in healthcare). I think if I had to draw a venn diagram of the roles, a coder and a junior dev are the same. How one would identify doesn't really matter to me when I'd hire for that role. If a person said, "I'm a coder" and they applied for a more senior position, I'd also lean towards asking if they a mentor as well or where they see themselves. If they do more, they are more but they may be underselling themselves.

I see. In this case, this is merely a misunderstanding: What you call "developers" is what I call "coders" - because they aren't really deeply involved in the concept of what they "code".


I disagree. The sad fact is there are people who are missing out on the opportunity to code because of the environment as-a-whole.

Or worse, people who make the effort to learn to code, only to be shut down by people who have this mindset of only certain types of people can code.

Taking away superficiality, if a person has the qualifications and the personality, what's holding them back?


@alainvanhout said it perfectly:

There's an entire Disney movie about this topic ratatouille






Nothing is holding them back. :-) But I think we should stop assuming that everyone should be a developer.

Agreed, At University as I am seeing right now most of the students rolling into software or CSE dept is because of the current glorified state of the computer industry. Some of them hate to learn new things and problem-solving as a whole. Thinking between changing the major or just hanging out as see where it goes.

Nothing is holding them back

Jonathan just pointed out two things holding people back:

The sad fact is there are people who are missing out on the opportunity to code because of the environment as-a-whole.

Not all people have the right circumstances to commit time to learning to code.

Or worse, people who make the effort to learn to code, only to be shut down by people who have this mindset of only certain types of people can code.

Prejudiced mindsets can easily discourage fledgling engineers.

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