16 Nov 2006, 3:32 p.m.

I Use the Word 'Diametrically' in This One

One of things I've enjoyed most about my work over the last few years - one of the privileges of being a developer, as it were - has been working so closely with talented, driven people. It doesn't really matter whether you're speccing out a gritty DB schema with other developers, stepping through wireframes and storyboards with an interface designer, or having a heated debate about the place of PDFs on the web with senior management.

What's great is that everybody has an opinion, often diametrically opposed to your own. That's a great way to open your mind, and a great way to learn.

For the record, I didn't change my mind completely about PDFs, my views being somewhat akin to Jakob Nielsen's. But I accept they have a place, and can have a value to the paying client.

And if opening your mind can help to bring in a few more pennies, so be it.

Posted by Simon Read more »
11 Nov 2006, 2:07 p.m.

...and keeping them

I'm finding more and more excellent, and very pertinent, content on Rob's site. In Nine Things Developers Want More Than Money he raises a few issues that will make a huge difference to a company's rate of developer 'churn'. And once again he hits several nails square on the head.

He doesn't mention chairs, but I think Joel has that one covered.

Still, I wonder how Rob finds developers who have stable family lives and yet are willing to work until sunrise...without being asked and without extra pay!

Posted by Simon Read more »
10 Nov 2006, 11:19 a.m.

Finding them...

I enjoyed Rob's definition of Web 2.0 companies as being the ones that show up in your browser every time you mistype a domain name. I don't know what you would have to type wrong to find either of our portals, so I guess we're not Web 2.0. But I can live with that.

Anyway, it's from a great article called Personality Traits of the Best Software Developers, which I found particularly interesting, since we're recruiting right now. I can see myself in at least a couple of those (I shan't elaborate!) so maybe I'm not doing too badly.

Posted by Simon Read more »
3 Nov 2006, 10:53 a.m.

I am Not a Resource, I'm a Free...Oh Wait...

For a while now I've been taking exception to programmers being described (by management, by recruiters) as 'resources'. "We're hoping to take on a PHP resource", "I hear you're looking for a PHP resource?".

No, I'm really not looking for a resource, I'm looking for a programmer. Programmers have brains and ideas and solve problems and rarely stop thinking about creative ways to do complex things. They're not interchangeable programming units. At least, not here in Great Queen Street. To misappropriate something Martin Fowler said:

"that would be true if the hardest part of programming was typing".

Which, of course, isn't the case.

Posted by Simon Read more »