what bothers you the most of being a programmer?

There are two things that really bother me. The first one is to find programmers that know nothing (like John Snow) :). Not because they lack experience. A good junior will learn. It's because they are not really into it and don't even try.
The second is that my girlfriend, friends and family don't know the difference between CS and IT, and are always asking me technical questions and favors: "I'm not an IT guy! Figure it out!" Well, I do have the technical skills being a former SysAdmin, but I refuse to serve as support to people who don't know the difference and prefer to ask instead of finding the solution!!! I hate laziness!!!

What bothers you?

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DISCUSSION (52)

The lack of women in the profession after growing up with a mom who was #womenintech

Yeah, that is so shitty. Hopefully we can reverse the trend for the next generation.

I grew up in a NASA family so looking around in the 80s at corporate events I knew my parents worked with so many women. I thought it was the norm in science. Then I went to an engineering school and in my freshman year the ratio of men to women was 7:1. No idea why women aren’t attracted to the profession. Some of the first computer scientists were women and from what I understand in the beginning of computing men wanted little to do with the job. Half a century ago computer science was a very different thing, but that in itself doesn’t explain it.

That is a very interesting thing to think about. I don't understand it either. Maybe in male chauvinist countries is understandable the low ratio situation due to discrimination. But here in USA(where I live), it is weird to still see that huge difference in numbers. In my classes like 90% are men. I have no clue about why it is like that in first-world countries as well. Speaking of NASA, it reminded me of one of my favorite movies that touches on this subject from gender/racial perspective: Hidden Figures.

I feel like it used to be a "women's job" due to it being a backend war job, just how men used to go to the frontlines and women and children would work the factories making ammunition and supplies.
Then, in peaceful times, women chose less misanthropic pursuits than STEM.

Unfortunately, not just in coding, but in every mathy-engineeringish field !

Just from my personal life experience, women overall just seem less interested in IT-related stuff. Some say this is genetic, others say it's purely social conditioning, but whichever is right, it doesn't seem like a big deal as long as people are happy with what they are doing, and IT seems to be one of those fields where skill really is all that matters.

"IT seems to be one of those fields where skill really is all that matters." Yes and no. I love that based on skill and not a college degree, I received opportunities to learn and work in IT. Sadly though, you can still find a woman and a man suggesting the same idea and it's the man who receives the praise.

Well, yeah, those cases suck. Can't argue with that. But have you looked into other professions? IT is, compared to many other jobs, on average very fair and meritocratic.

The line of what is and isn't skill is rather blurred.
Where do soft skills like communicating your ideas, teaching, and working in a team end and forthright bullshit like workplace politics begins?

Those soft skills are ultimately just secondary skills you need to be god at your job, but won't directly help you getting the job itself done. If I had to choose between employing someone who's good at programming and someone who sucks at it but is better at communicating, I'd go with the first one 10 out of 10 times.

It needs a balance.
Obviously you can't hire someone who is a poor programmer for a programming position.
But if they are a 0 on the soft skills, you will end up with a system no one can understand in the future.
Frankly, it will not even suit the business as talking to the domain experts is as big a part of development as writing code.

In the eyes of most family and friends, I'm a web designer, not a developer.

Trust me. You don't want me designing your website.

Yup, Can relate. I'm not a creative. I even mentioned this in an interview the other day. Don't ask me to make things look pretty.

I'm terrible at visual design. I know what you mean.

Just curious: Do you feel like this is made worse because you specifically do Shopify development?

Nah, I actually used to pretend I could design websites. Back in like high school. So apparently if you were once a designer you'll always be a designer.

To be totally honest, nobody understands what I do with Shopify development.

The biggest thing that bothers me about being a programmer is that most people assume I'm not a programmer and the amount of shock I get when I tell people.

I'm curious, how come that bothers you? People have repeatedly been surprised that I'm a programmer (Apparently I dress more like an economics person xD) and I've never felt the slightest bit annoyed.

I think the issue is why they didn't think you could be a programmer. If it's because your attire or mannerisms don't match what they expect of a programmer, I could see how that might seem less offensive. But speaking as a woman, it can also signal sexism.

[...] it can also signal sexism

Okay, but my point is, I can't relate to how that can annoy somebody. People make assumptions about others all the time and sex is just one more dimension to that heuristic. None of those assumptions bother me much and I was wondering why other people treat that as such a serious issue.

Part of the issue is that it's not something you have control over. You are able to control the way you dress, the way you style your hair, your posture, and other mannerisms.

There's also a difference between "Oh, you dress nice for a programmer" and "Because of your sex I didn't think you'd be capable of {x}"

Hopefully this comes across correctly. If someone can help me word this better, it would be appreciated

I don’t think it has to do with how one dresses. If someone acts surprised for a woman being a programmer it’s probably a sexist matter.

If someone acts surprised for a woman being a programmer, it can be anything. If they are surprised specifically because she's a woman, then that's still not sexism; it's statistics. If they are surprised that any woman is able to be a programmer, then yeah, that would be sexism.

Because they assume because of my gender.

Lol I don’t even bother trying to tell my family about what I actually do. They know I’m a coder but literally don’t care about what that is and assume it means I can fix their computer no problem.

But that doesn’t really bother me.

I’d say that it’s hard to find the right balance of enjoyment and hard work. I enjoy programming in and of itself, and I enjoy hard work. But too much of either can leave you with too few hours left in the day for other things.

I think the thing that bothers me is that, because the line between front end and backend dev is relatively blurry in my job - I’m working towards full stack - non-devs (muggles 😄) don’t really know exactly what I do.

Also, any time someone has tried to say I should work with them because “they need a woman” in their team of men. For two reasons, working in a team of only men is not very appealing, and you should want me for my skill not for some diversity points.

it reminds me of Silicon Valley, Jared trying to hire Carla :)

The stereotypical assumption that anyone knowing something related to computers knows everything about computers.

oh god yes, my parents still expect me to do tech support for them whenever I visit and I'm like "well, you're running a Windows system, and I only use Macs and Linux, so, I have no idea? sorry?"

Lmao the most useful ability I possess while helping someone is being able to use a search engine.

Sure, I am able to use a search engine just fine, but so can my parents, and I’m not there to be their IT support. My mom is pretty good at respecting that but my dad always needs help with one little thing and before I know it I’m rebuilding his website and investigating home automation technology for him. When I’m just there to relax and see my parents, dang it!

Oh your computer is screaming MBR 0 and not booting? Lemme just spend 3 days not knowing wtf is going on while I try to fix it.

If you follow Agile, you tend to respect ceremonies, no matter the cost. I mean, not being flexible and not adapting the process to X team's needs and having to attend meetings all day long w/o any value (sometimes) is what frustrates me and interrupts my work.

I can totally see that happening. And then you will have Agile advocates and experts tell you that you're doing Agile wrong (I've also seen that on forums time and time again). Never been a part of Agile work culture, but read enough about it. To me it looks like a cult. We always had best practices at any point in time and people strongly advocating for it as the best thing since the invention of sliced bread.

There are merits to it. Good aspects. But I believe it doesn't have to be religiously followed. It wreaks of micro-management to me, and if you put enough trust into your team mates then there's really no need for jumping through all those hoops all the time. I believe Agile (just like "Lean Startup") is something that is primarily sold by people who give speeches and write books about it specifically for management types who like to buy into the hype

Thank you Thomas for your comment. I agree with you, micro-management sometimes produces the exact opposite results of what a team wants to achieve. Agile best practices shouldn't be followed like the bible, we should always be flexible and adapt, and since every team is a bigger living organism consisted of human beings (really special ones :)), we should learn from our mistakes and evolve to become more efficient and productive.

Buzzwords. It sometimes feels like in 2018 you could sell bubblesort for a million dollars if you implemented it using machine learning or blockchain. I estimate about 80% of IT hype is snake oil and many things get hyped because of a feedback loop of [more users -> more articles -> more hype -> more users...]

For IT tools, there's a sweet spot of not old enough to be outdated but old enough to have proven useful even after the hype has passed.

How quick people are to tell me that I should be using X tool or Y framework or Z language. Maybe it's because I'm still in school and surrounded by a lot of enthusiastic people - don't get me wrong, this can be a wonderful thing - but at the same time it can easily becomes overwhelming.

For example, I have very little web dev experience. I mentioned to some peers one time that I wanted to make a portfolio site - peers who I knew had more experience than me. Next thing you know I'm 20 tabs deep into languages and frameworks and unsure if I even want to do this myself anymore due to the amount of things I felt I needed to learn.

When in doubt follow the advice of true giants. Bjarne Stroustrup said: “don’t learn programming languages, learn programming techniques “. That also applies to frameworks and libraries. Don’t get me wrong, they are very important for well known reasons. But before you learn them make sure you understand how the code was implemented. It is far more important to learn data structures and algorithms paradigms than libraries. Ignore everyone, do your own research and come to a conclusion.
apprenticeroad.com/which-programmi...

What bothers me most is the lack of capital to fund my own projects and hire other developers, generally there isn't enough worker organising to help developers gain and keep power. Writing software is so menial and mentally taxing that the rest of a business is able to take advantage of you.

I also find open plan offices impossible (yes, literally impossible) to do difficult work in. So I spend a lot of time trying to build my own businesses so I don't have to put up with the crappy environments people expect me to work in.

Unlike many others here I'm not bothered by my family, friends and my girlfriend asking me to help out on technical tasks. I'm happy to help and support them how ever I can. Well sometimes my girlfriend fuck me up when she's overwhelmed and crying for help without even trying it.

I'm bothered that my family and friends really have no clue of what I'm doing and therefore I've noone I can talk to about my hobby and work. Everytime I've got asked how my work was I can say "I found a nice solution" (to what?!) or "I had a lot of meetings" (about what?!, and btw why?!) and in general "the day was ok". I've tried to explain some things but it seem to be to detailed for most of the people^
I really would like to have someone in my close friend circle whose I can talk to, when I hacked a shitty wordpress website just to tell the owner that he should do it better or when I built a new fancy tool or page.

I think that bothers me the most.
Thx for reading :D

Lack of respect in our craft. I'm not going to content that developers aren't paid well. But from my observation people on the non-tech/soft side at the same level are paid significantly more. The budget for a software developer is much lower than that one of the business consultant. Because "my nephew is also good with computers", or you can easily out-source programming to cheaper locations (generally also receiving even cheaper results).

Something that bugs me a lot is the proliferation of frameworks that are too clever for their own good, and the tendency for everything to be written in whatever framework happens to be the hottest that week (and of course that framework we were using LAST week is now total poop). Unfortunately this means that either you're ending up rewriting everything constantly, or whenever you inherit some older code it's in some framework that nobody knows anymore.

Relatedly I am getting very frustrated with "self-documenting" things or things which are only explained in circular terms with respect of other parts of the system. I've recently been reintroduced to the Perl ecosystem and I feel like everything is written with the mindset that everyone who uses this thing is already an expert in all of the things that this thing is trying to replace. And of course nothing is ever on the project's own website (even for web frameworks!), it's all documented in a twisty little maze of Perldocs, all alike (except that they differ by version and it's hard to tell which version is the one you're using).

Poor documentation in general is I guess my main frustration. I'm accustomed to designing systems by writing the docs for a feature in tandem with designing the feature itself (not before prototyping, but as part of describing the prototype for future users who I am trying to convince to use the feature), and using that to reason out where things make sense. I feel like most software I try to use on a daily basis is not documented or designed that way, and instead it's just like, "Well, this works, here's a bunch of examples about how to use it" without any description of what anything in the example is doing either.

Or worse yet, the only docs that are available will be wrong or woefully out-of-date or misleading or "technically correct" (which is the best kind of correct) but not actually useful.

So, yeah. Please, document your stuff as if you're explaining to others how to use it. Or if you aren't good at writing documentation, explain it to someone else and have them write the docs, and then if they document it wrong, explain it until they document it right! Remember that software is for people; the machines that run it are just tools.

When I was doing web development the conversation with former colleagues from (high)school/university was something like:

Colleague: glad to see you, what are you doing?
Me: I'm a web developer!
Colleague: oh cool... So you do HTML!
Me... Cringe!!!

IT/Programmers co-workers? A non-IT person I get, but any professional in the industry should know that.

When I simplify a feature down so the business folks can understand, then I'm expected to turn it around overnight.

What bothers me the most is how much time I spend in front of the computer screen.

As on Oracle APEX Developer, it can be difficult at times to explain to other Developers what I do. So to people not in the industry, I say I'm a developer and leave it at that.

It bothers me when you tell people you're a web developer and they immediately ask for help to fix all their issues with their devices (router, ipads, computer, etc).

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