I am the typical programmer that didn’t go to schools to achieve the knowledge I have of programming. That presents a couple of interesting scenarios.. Engineers I’ve worked with in the past see this as a threat of some sort. The funny thing is that I’ve also established some fear for the engineers. To show an example of both fears; me and my boss, who is quite the conservative type, had a talk the other day and he asked: “Seeing that you don’t have a degree or any formal education, how do you know this much about programming and how do you manage to keep your knowledge up to date”. Since he started off the sentence with the assumption that only engineers had the power to actually learn new things, I responded with following sentence: “Well sir, I think that the fact that I don’t have a degree does the trick. That actually enables me to learn things better and faster!” My boss’ intention was to give me a compliment, which of course he did as well; it was more the assumption I’m referring to that threw me off. After all, my boss has all the trust in the world when it comes to me; he has given me the position as MAD (Manager of Application Development) with the typical engineers as the team to manage.I’ve actually established a concept in my head that says: if you only have a degree in computers and consider programming to be your trade and nothing more, you can’t possibly be good at programming. I think there is a bit of truth to that concept. Programming is more than just knowing the patterns and syntaxes you’ve learned at school. It’s also about a lot of research, a lot of trying and failing. If you just sit there and implement code based upon known patterns you are not very creative! That type of programmer will get things done, but the code will not necessarily be the best code. My idea of an excellent programmer is one that really loves computers and almost gets abstinent when having to be away from the keyboard for a couple of days. Don’t get me wrong, programmers should have a life as well (I know I have). A totally different fear should be present in such a programmer, namely the fear of not learning the new technology coming out every day.
That’s it for today.. 🙂 (I knew I’d get the hang of this blogging thing…!)