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Cover image for Why I choose the title "Software Artist"
Thomas Scharke
Thomas Scharke

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Why I choose the title "Software Artist"

I'm now other 15 years in the IT business and most of my time I'm actively sitting in front of a keyboard and writing code. Some times I do it on my own and more alone but mostly I do this with other peoples regardless of whether in the same room or remotely. And I do moreโ€ฆ

In my carrier, I already had so many titles starting from "developer" over "application developer", "software developer" towards to "software designer" and it ends in "software developer" and all of this with attachments for the corresponding technologies like #Java, #JavaScript, #TypeScript, etc. (e.g. "JavaScript Software Developer") and you can get even more creative in it and make something like "Typescript and React-Native Software Mobile App Developer" - you got the picture ๐Ÿ˜‰

And if you're working together with a team or being part of a team and feels responsible for the people, the working environment, the code the quality of code and the results or better the products someone thinks you're a "leader". And to share this information they found it a solid idea to put this information in addition to your job title. And so it ends up in "Lead Developer, "Lead Software Developer", "Lead React-Native Software Developer for Mobile Apps" and so on.

And here you may already see the confusion for me and for others. Does someone else realize what I'm doing? Do I explain good enough what I'm doing? Do teammates, recruiter or new customers locate me with this? Does it justice to what I do?

Ok, it's kind of engineering and so I'm a kind of a software engineer. But there's more in itโ€ฆ

With these points in my head, I stumble about the article Donโ€™t be a Software Engineer, be a Software Artist from Jeremy Song in the last year. And during the reading me tought: Wow ๐Ÿ˜ฎ this describes exactly my confusion and brings a solution for me too ๐Ÿ™.

Jeremy describes in his article the following requirements for a software engineer:

  • knowing how to write code and test code,
  • knowing how to identify business problems, collect user requirements, design a project and release it,
  • and anything in software engineerโ€™s job description.

And he comes to the conclusion:

Usually, there is no requirement of writing easy-to-understand code, or designing a project that is easy-to-use.

Spontaneously I asked myself the questions, what's about understanding the customers, the products, the teams, the organisational parts and all the social think besides the technical parts?

Jeremy answers it with

Software artists can surely build software with highest standards. But being a software artist is more than just being an excellent software engineer who can write good code and design good architectures. Being an artist in software industry requires you to:

  • understand your customers and
  • be a teacher and an influencer.

This describes exactly what I'm doing, what I'm feeling and what I would like to expand further in the future.

With this in mind, I decided to call myself a Software Artist.

Does this answer my previous questions? Let's think about itโ€ฆ

  • Does someone else realize what I'm doing?
  • Do I explain good enough what I'm doing?
  • Do teammates, recruiter or new customers locate me with this?
  • Does it justice to what I do?

To be honest, the last question is answered this yes, only.

Teammates, recruiter or new customers cannot find me if they following the searching path like "JavaScript", "React Native", "Teamlead of whatever" or so. I explained not more precisely what I'm doing as before and at the moment no more realize what I'm doing except that it has anything to do with software.

In the end, I've achieved the following for me:

  • I justice what I do and it's more than building software and writing code.
  • The title is a good icebreaker to get into a conversation with.
  • The title sounds very cool - I think ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿ˜† and
  • with my subtitle Passionate implementer of ideas it describes exactly what I'm doing, what I โค๏ธ to do, what I stand for and what you can expect from me thought beyond technologies.

What do you call yourself? What kind of values is behind it for you? What do you think? Are there other Software Artist out there?

Cover-Image/Photo by Ari He on Unsplash

Top comments (7)

tscharke profile image
Thomas Scharke

I just found this interesting post ๐Ÿ‘‰ and like the testimony: My worth as a human being and value I bring extends way beyond my โ€˜titleโ€™.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Fayard

One caveat though,
What we do is less art than craftsmanship, no?

tscharke profile image
Thomas Scharke

Interesting thought. I like "craftsmanship" too and had this one also in my title. I think that "craftsmanship" highlighted only one aspect of our work. And isn't craftsmanship also art?

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Fayard • Edited

For me there is a difference between an artist and an artisan.
Both are typically highly skilled individuals, but an artisan focus on producing useful things, while the artist focus on things that are beautiful.

Art: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel ๐Ÿ•ต๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Fayard

Hello Thomas

That makes perfect sense to me as well.

In fact this gives an answer to my question here

That's nice and good if you want to specialize.

I don't want this and I struggle to explain that I'm interested in more than one thing. That I have skills in more than one area. And that I have skills a set of areas that wouldn't really make sense at a first glance for a recruiter.

There is a quote that makes sense to me

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.
Specialization is for insects.
Time Enough for Love (1973), written by Robert A. Heinlein

... but it could look agressive.
I'm not sure how I can make it assertive.
Basically I feel I can learn enough of anything provided that

1) I am interested in that thing
2) I feel it's important right now in my context.

katnel20 profile image
Katie Nelson

Hey Thomas. That title is cool, I like it. Iโ€™m still a student, but I might try using artist in the future (if I stick to software).

tscharke profile image
Thomas Scharke

Thank you Katie. Iโ€™ll hope you stick to software and will be a Software Artist too in future ๐Ÿ˜ƒ