The question of who or what the Me is, is not a simple one at all. – Mark Twain

October 25, 2007

People often ask me, what do you do?

For most of the population I suspect the answer is easy, and satisfying. But what do I say? Software engineer, software developer, software something, software nothing. I feel that whatever I say will mislead people, I don’t purely develop, goodness no. I probably spend 35% of my time writing code, I invest the rest of my time in a plethora of other tasks, from investigation/research, to engaging with customers, helping to solve problems and a multitude of other tasks.

It feels as though Im doing myself a disservice my calling myself a “developer”. Having said that, that’s what I choose to describe myself as, why? Well, there is a few unwritten rules in the world of software.

Rule 1: If you call yourself an architect, it means you do no real work, have probably lost touch with the man at the key board and are set in your ways. (Of course I jest, but it’s not as wide of the mark as many people I have met would agree)

Rule 2: Consultants – will try and sell you a solution you don’t need, won’t tell you the truth, and will manipulate the people they have a grip on to further their own interests in a company. Beware the consultant, and beware the consultant that works only to sell.

So, looks like I’m sticking with “developer” for the time being.Another thing that really concerns me about this industry is how it appears as though in order to “move on up”, you have to consciously lose your developing skills in order to get people to see your other skills. Become an excellent developer at your peril, the glass ceiling is low, that really disappoints me.

On the flip side, those people that have got into positions of importance and credibility by remaining close to their technical skills get my full and complete respect, and I’m very lucky to work with many of them. Speaking to kings (directors of IT) and paupers (software developers) with the same ability to affect, is perhaps the most important thing I can work on right now.