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Discussion on: Enthusiasts vs. Pragmatists: two types of programmers and how they fail

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jorgealvarez profile image
Jorge Alvarez

Excellent article.

I think experience will lead you to pragmatism. That's inevitable and a good sign because it means you are not stalling at your career and you are learning and improving.

But I also think that you can wear one hat or the other based on the work you are doing.

If you work for a company being pragmatic is the right thing to do, always. Things like time-to-market, competitors, client requests are really important and a good-enough solution deployed in 2 months is better than a perfect solution deployed in 6 months. It's not going to be perfect, anyway and with the first approach you have 4 months to improve something that's already being used receiving actual feedback. If you are not pragmatic you are costing money to your company.

On the other hand if you work for open source projects most of the constraints of working for a company disappear and it's the perfect place to let your enthusiast-self free.

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Itamar Turner-Trauring Author

The danger with being an enthusiast on an open source project with users is that you stop caring about the users and just care about having fun, and people suddenly get massive amount of work because new API is fun for you but not backwards compatible for them.

So you need to make sure upfront to tell people whether you're doing open source for fun, or to help users. The former is perfectly fine as long as it's communicated up front.