Developers, stop hiding!

Let's start this "rant" with a slight deviation from the main topic, but don't worry about it we'll get back to it, by quoting someone much wiser and more experienced than me, Scott Hanselman (opens new window), who said something like this, in his article The Myth of the Rockstar Programmer (opens new window).

Just because someone has written a blog, or a book, or speaks well doesn't mean they are a good developer.

Scott, raises an interesting point in the above statement, but is this statement true?

Having theoretical knowledge in a field definitely doesn't make you an expert in that particular field. In my opinion, a mixture of theory, theoretical practice and lot of time spent in the line of duty (Haha, I said duty!) can make an individual extremely good at something, in my case and I hope yours also, programming or web development or web design, it really doesn't matter what you call the field you practice your activity.

Don't get me wrong, knowing only theoretical facts isn't such a bad thing and I don't blame the ones that know the inwards and outwards of a programming book, that covers only theory, but not having practical experience doesn't make you a good, let's say for the sake of the argument, developer. And thus we end up once again at this aspect of every day life.

You need experience for somebody to hire you, but nobody will hire you in the first place, so that you can get experience. See where I'm going with this? Damn you, circular reasoning (opens new window)!

But I won't get into more details on this matter, in this article, maybe in a different one. Often, and I personally know a few cases, good, experienced developers are overshadowed by other "developers" that are full of theoretical facts but lack the practical knowledge to solve a problem, maybe even a simple one (eg. 1 + 1 = pie, the dessert not the mathematical constant!).

Why are those developers, overshadowed? Well a simple answer would be that, the evil goblins from the evil firey pits of Isengard, the marketing department, have their minds blackened by the worm-tongue of a "theoretical" developer. The later one blows a lot of hot air and "he huffs und he puffs", stating the an apparently simple problem can only be fixed using a complicated solution, because that's how the books he learned from, stated.

Well let me tell you something, last time I checked those books are meant to show you a hard solution, but that doesn't mean you have to apply it to a real life scenario. And thus the good, experienced developer is overshadowed by someone who lacks practical knowledge or field knowledge. Ok, but why hide, when you can clearly avoid the awkward situation and also save a lot of time and money for the company?

My thoughts are that, as all developers, most of us are introverts and only like to talk when there's something interesting to talk about and that's where the "theoretical" developer, that has a blog, is a good a speaker comes in and steals all the "glory".

So, I say to you, developers, please for the love of all that is holly in this cat-video filled world, STOP HIDING! If you continue to hide, others, that are far more inexperienced than you, will come along and create this environment where everything is based on theoretical solutions and not on practical solutions, that are easy to implement and inexpensive. You know your abilities, you know you're good and you know how to solve a complicated problem, even if it takes you a few days to come up with an answer. If you come out of hiding, I promise you, you'll be considered a somewhat of a hero among your fellow developer friends (If you had any of course!). So once again, repeat after me:

I am a good developer, I like ... developing. I will come out of hiding as soon as I finish this parallax website and if I don't may the firey pits of clients from hell consume my soul to eternal damnation!

Before I end this "rant" I would like to leave you with this thought and with hope that I convinced you to come out of hiding. Whether you're a "theoretical" developer of a practical one, just remember one thing, that we're all here to make the world of the web a better place, for everyone, to improve current technologies and your legacy to future generations will help define us as a predominant species in the universe, except maybe for the Borgs, that are just pure evil.

Until next time, code long and prosper!