Information Technology Dark Side

Struggles of a Self-Taught Coder

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You Weren’t Meant to Have a Boss by Paul Graham

March 22nd, 2008 · 1 Comment

This essay by VC Paul Graham should be required reading for every college graduate.

Here’s how it starts:

A few days ago I was sitting in a cafe in Palo Alto and a group of programmers came in on some kind of scavenger hunt. It was obviously one of those corporate “team-building” exercises.

They looked familiar. I spend nearly all my time working with programmers in their twenties and early thirties. But something seemed wrong about these. There was something missing.

And yet the company they worked for is considered a good one, and from what I overheard of their conversation, they seemed smart enough. In fact, they seemed to be from one of the more prestigious groups within the company.

So why did it seem there was something odd about them?

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Dennis Gorelik // Mar 22, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    Jeff Atwood thinks that Paul’s article is condescending:

    I personally think that Paul’s article is just slightly extreme — the same way as his other articles :-)

    Response from Dave:
    I definitely agree Paul’s is an extreme position – that’s why I think it should be required reading. If he thinks programmers at software companies have lost a part of their souls, I wonder what he would say about programmers in corporate IT? That their souls have been crushed completely?

    Paul responded to Jeff’s criticism of his article here. I think Atwood missed the point, personally.

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