Does Anyone Know What We Do For A Living?

Virtually all these young people [freshmen majoring in computer science] share a single attribute: they have no idea what a professional software developer does. …And they won’t learn much more about the business in their first few years in college, either. In this distorted view of our profession,

  • The developer always has a complete spec (or if they don’t they can make it up as they go along)
  • All development begins with a brand new program.
  • If your program doesn’t core-dump in response to a test case, its behaviour is correct.
  • No one else (with the exception of the professor, perhaps) ever looks at your code.
  • The developer never, ever has to read some-one else’s code.

– Warren Harrison, The Software Developer as Movie Icon, IEEE Software, January/February 2003 (Vol. 20, No. 1)

Comments are closed.