Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Why good programmer never write good programs

Here, one of visitors, begun a discussion about good and bad programmers. Here, I wrote about absolutely unnecessary and not relevant questions to good programmers. Someone things, that good programmers should write good programs. However, I want to interpose my objections to the statement. And this why.


Let's start with the term "good programmer". What is it?

  • He knows any, even small details of programming language
  • He knows to write very efficient algorithms
  • He always in new technologies and applies them in his everyday work
  • He is extremely innovative
  • He tries to make his every bit to be perfect
  • He glows with enthusiasm
  • He's very smart and inventive

Can such person write good program? Probably not. He can not write even average program, because of very small fact - the target of the programs we writing.

Whom we write for? For customers. The customers has no idea about what programming language we are using to write the program. He even do not know why we use this or other approach to solve his business problems. He do not care about algorithms, structures and abstract layers. He do not care about top and very efficient technologies, helps us to perform tasks better. He want to solve his problems and he want to do it quicker as possible with minimal effort from his side.

Now I want to ask you a question: "Do you (as programmers) interested with his (customer's) business processes and problems?" - the answer is NO! You're much more interested with how to make your work smaller and be able to expand it in the future upon customer's requests (not needs). To expand and enhance the program by yourselves - not by any other. You are the programmer!

Honestly, you are right, it is not your job to understand user - this is the job of business intelligence expert. However, how many companies hires this one? How many job boards advertises "BI experts"? - NONE (except those, how want him to sell their products). Everyone are looking for programmers, team leaders and architects. They want you to do it. They want you to understand customer's problem and you to solve it. Will you? Probably not, but you'll try to and this will take most of your work time. This why the programmers of today, probably good programmers, but, actually, they are not writing (and unable to write) good programs. It maybe very good from inside, but will be never good outside.

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