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Discussion on: Just A Developer

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Károly Balogh

This post resonates with me so much.

I'm writing code since I was eight. That was some time ago already. (~3 decades.) During those years, I wrote low level VGA card hacks in assembly. I wrote a music player engine for Sound Blaster and Gravis Ultrasound (who remembers them?) cards in Pascal. I wrote web interface for a database system in PHP. I wrote games in C for Nintendo GBA and DS. I also did games for S60 J2ME handsets, and later heavyweight applications (remote control, video streaming) for BlackBerry in Java. I did an automated testing framework for iOS in Objective C. I worked on a router firmware and related tools in Object Pascal. Nowadays I'm an embedded developer in C++, but did some hardware testing code in Python. I developed some hobby stuff in languages you probably never even heard of. I'm also hacking on an open source compiler and other projects. I wrote (production) code for Commodore 64 (and other 8 bits), MS-DOS, Amiga, Atari, OS/2 Warp, PalmOS, Windows, Linux (and Unices in general), macOS, iOS, Android. Also bare iron and RTOS code for embedded projects. I was also doing sysadmin stuff, a bit of devops stuff, CI/CD, and whatnot. Also probably a bunch of other things I forgot already.

... now it's actually a trouble to figure out what am I going to do next. I would actually love to learn designing hardware, but so far I wasn't given the chance. I think as time progresses in one's career, most people enthusiastic about their job actually pick up a wide range of skills anyway. It's a must, as technology changes fast anyway. Then I'm asked if I'm a Java Developer and do I know the latest fancy framework, communication protocol or whatever. No, I'm not. No I don't but give me 2 weeks, and I'll be able to deliver well tested production quality code in whatever technology you want.

Am I a Developer? Honestly, no idea. Some say, I'm a hacker.