Web Designers vs Web Developers

What? I love cargo pants. What?

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How to be a good programmer…by first not being a programmer….

Ok, I’m going to give him credit right now. This article is just a continuation of the article written by Kevin Schroeder over at eschrade.com.

He’s right. In fact, I really won’t hire anyone that’s a straight developer. To take it one step further, I haven’t hired anyone that was straight tech person in a long time. I’m not. I managed restaurants until I was about 28 years old. I don’t have a degree (never even made it through a semester of college.) I like people that have a customer service background, because, and I know this is going to make some of you techno-nerds crazy (as if 1000’s of people were actually reading this), most IT people have some bizarre notion that the computers they work on are for use in some black hole completely devoid of people (I know this is correct…I’ve had peers actually tell me this.)

My job as a developer, no, as an IT person is to develop solutions that make other people more efficient at the real work…which is being of service to some group of people (ours are the chronically injured, we’re healthcare), but it might be the ones that need to take care of their money or those that are building structures for other people to live in.

In case Kevin actually reads this, I was a technical support person for several years and currently manage all facets of our technology services (system administration, hardware deployment, network management, telecom.)

So, kudos to my colleague for saying what I’ve been saying for years (just never this publicly.)

Later, I hear customers calling….

The Art Of PHP

That is not a typo. I don’t believe that what I do is as much a science as it is an art. I doubt I am alone in that feeling. I LOVE writing PHP. I mean, nothing expresses what goes on in my head like this extremely flexible, yet  highly structurable language. My head’s a scary place. Heck, I even talk in parentheses most of the time. It’s a wonder that I EVER get to the point…but I do…usually.

I love building intricate structures, and then refining, and refining, and (you get the picture.) But having programmed in several other languages, some of which I really enjoy (C#, AutoIt) and others not so much (VB), and PHP is by far the most flexible and fun to write. I like the fact to write good code with it, I have to create my own rules (unlike C#, which is someone else’s rules…not that they are bad rules, but they are not mine.)

I am particulary fond of writing classes in the Singleton pattern. I’m sure if some mature developers looked my (over)use of this beautiful code structure, they would gag, but it’s not their code…it’s mine. One of the things that I love about being the senios developer (and boss) at my firm is the ability to guide the junior developers into the methodology that I find most effectice. I find that writing code that others will use to write code is such an interesting challenge. Trying to find the balance between thinking too much for them, and providing an underlying foundation that supports their work and makes them more effective and efficient, is an ever evolving process.

I really find the whole process so fascinating – in fact, I’ve woke up and found that I was writing code in sleep (too bad, I can’t remember it….or maybe I can, I just don’t know that’s what I am doing.)

Sweet dreams.