Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

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Five Tips for Being a Diva-loper

March 24th, 2009 · No Comments

Diva-loper (dee VAH loh per): a software developer who is arrogant, difficult to work with, high-maintenance, manipulative, fussy, highly strung, privileged and demanding (swiped from Wikipedia).

Tip #1: Don’t be bothered with testing. Testing is for wannabes, for tech-weenies who can’t code. Why should you waste your $100/hr skills on an activity that $30/hour NOBODIES can do for you? Besides, your code is probably perfect anyway.

Tip #2: Code everything yourself, especially the user interface. Dude – UI designers are a total scam. They’re just a bunch of punks who learned html in high school and now they think they’re artists. You don’t need them. Just roll your own UI and tell the users to go sit on a fork if they don’t like it. Usability is for crack heads.

Tip #3: Establish your territory and don’t let anyone else play there. This is your code darn it. No one else can work it the way you do. Anyone else who touches it will just screw it up. Only you are worthy!

Tip #4: Never talk to users! Users don’t know JACK. Listening to them is a complete waste of time. Your time would be much better spent putting three layers of abstraction on that widget you built yesterday so that it can be used in every imaginable context. Isn’t that what business analysts are for anyway? To babysit the stupid users?

Tip #5: Stop learning NOW. You already know everything. Heck, you wrote the definitive framework for automating business decisions like, 10 years ago. Why would you need to learn anything now? Everyone should be learning from you, not the other way around.

The path to becoming a diva-loper isn’t easy. There will be naysayers, critics, and scorners. But you have a dream, and if you stick to it, you can do it. Along the way, you’ll alienate your friends, disenfranchise users, lose your cutting edge, and ignore important aspects of the software development discipline, but when that great day comes when you stand at the top of the pile, grinding the faces of your colleagues under your heel, the view will be fantastic. And you’ll be the only one there.

Note #1: This is obviously a sarcastic piece. That said, it will take all of 10 minutes before someone quotes me as saying testing is for wannabes. That’s not cool and it’s clearly not the way this is meant to be interpreted.

Note #2: You might be tempted to believe this little rant is inspired by the bad behavior of one of my colleagues or business partners and you would be totally wrong. It’s not inspired by their bad traits, but rather by their good. They are anti-diva-lopers, the epitome of good development habits and behaviors. I was thinking about that last night and how to best describe the traits I see in the developers I respect the most, and I thought it would be more fun to describe what they are not than what they are. So that’s what this is – a description of what they’re not that makes them so good.

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