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Discussion on: The New Way of the Developer?

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Vesa Piittinen

The difference in developer path can reflect in what you value. And these differences in background is what makes team members stronger together as a team. Team work is pretty much the thing today and good workplaces put their bets in ensuring people can both learn to be great team members as keep working for the company by giving a great environment. This means the background of a person shouldn't matter as much as it does the value that a person can bring, and that they fit in with the team (and of course proof enough of their skill, or talent, considering the position).

As far as skillset goes programming language does not really matter. A programmer can pick pretty much any language and experience simply makes the process of switching faster and easier. Experience does that with everything. And this profession is a never ending learning experience so once person has learned to learn, and how to cope with information overflow, there is really no stopping them.

I would say computer science degree doesn't give any edge in programming. What you can get is extra information, and some contacts as well. But programming does need a certain level of commitment, because it won't let you go. You keep on thinking about solving problems even on your free time, you wanted it or not.

Internet has really changed the learning game: I can already see how 20+ year olds have deeper knowledge and skills than I could've had in their age, and I got started with the web on my teens and I'm only 37. There is simply so much more information easily available now that it allows to have a bit of an edge over earlier generations. It doesn't overcome experience of course, but the base level of education is higher simply because the Internet is there, and if you're curious you can up your knowledge by quite a bit.

There has also been a major cultural shift in programming. I only got my first "real" programming job 8 years ago. Until that point I was living with the expectation of the "old bad ways" of what programming was: long days, bad business control, constant hurry, rock star programmers. This has changed in a lot of places. Recruiting is also changing, I think. The tools are awesome now, we know the healthy ways for programmers to continue thriving, and we know a lot more about how to do things the best way possible.

Programming isn't that much of an individual game anymore. The demand for developers is there (although Corona can be troublesome atm) so there is a fitting place for many kinds of personas and skill levels. I wouldn't even bother with the thinking of who is "better", because really nobody can know everything and there are positions around programming where people can shift if they notice they can't do programming on a level they'd like to, whatever the reason for that might be.

I guess this is cohesive enough, I probably could've get this to reduced amount of words but it is time to sleep soon so my reducer is borken or timing out.

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Tobias Timm Author

Thank you for that well-written answer; I don't think it is wishful to reduce this, especially for such a topic.
I also love the shift in the developer scene or the general awareness of developers and their role within the business.