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Discussion on: Best tweet-sized programming career lessons

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stephenmirving profile image
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Stephen Irving • Edited on

Am I missing something on this one? It seems so meaningless and up its own ass.

"Software is not the goal, it is the by-product. This is not about writing software, this is about providing value."

Literally every job in the world is about providing value. That is like a furniture builder saying, "Pffft! My job is not about building chairs and tables. No no, the chairs are merely the by-product. My job is actually about providing value to people who want to sit."
**Sniffs own farts vigorously**

It is not a lesson or actionable advice for a career (or anything else), it is just incredibly pretentious and trite. I hate to think about what those in blue-collar professions would think if they heard a programmer say that. As a former blue-collar worker myself, I believe I can wager a pretty close guess...

And regarding the last one, what kind of advice is it to tell people not to care about best practices? That is awful advice. That is no different than saying, "Stop learning how to do things correctly".

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maxart2501 profile image
Massimo Artizzu

Am I missing something on this one?

Yes, I think you are.

Mind you, it's not like they're saying that "by-products" are a bad thing in any way. Or that the effort to make them is any less appreciable. It's about reaching a goal rather than making an exercise of style.
If, at the end of everything, you end up saying: "This codebase is majestic, but... what does the app actually do?" You know you've failed to provide value.

Blue collars hardly have any decision making chances, but there are also developers that just have to do what they're told. They don't get to see the overall picture, and won't see the value they're providing. Like bricklayers.

But fortunately not everything is black or white. The boundaries are blurred, especially for us developers, so we can at least question what we're doing. In fact, it's actually a valuable step for personal and professional growth.

So, strive to reach for the value, even if you don't take the final decisions.

For the last one, it's more or less the same thing. It's a tweet, so the context is a bit lacking, but I think the author meant that applying best practices just for the sake of it is meaningless.

Or maybe just ask him: it's a public tweet after all.

All in all, I think your post is a missed chance to ask for clarifications. You jumped to a lot of conclusions. If you deem those folks a little professional, you can ask them what made them think what they wrote, and spark a healthy debate. 👍