Saturday, June 14, 2008

Programmer's Manifesto

There was another meeting today, another room full of tired faces feigning interest in the droning tones of non-techies that read in a book everything they need to know to 'manage'.

In a thousand cubicles across the country, bleary eyed coders pieced together cut and paste example code from yet another web site claiming to have all the answers.

In a hundred office blocks, a hundred computer programs driven by self-important vapid agendas were delivered to a hundred servers to give the illusion of progress to an army of be-suited executives desperate to do what they perceive their competitors are doing.

But in a handful of bedrooms, dens, studies, and coffee shops binary artists created computer code with the depth, intricacy, subtlety and elegance of a DaVinci masterpiece. Tens of lines of code are reduced to one with an ornate refactoring built out of experience and experimentation. Like a small army of ground breaking scientists we discover new solutions to old problems, better solutions, faster solutions and better ways of working.

While the cube masters whip their captives to cut and paste the latest million line spiders web of complexity, we invent the code samples that drive the future. We are the people that define the right way of doing things, the new ways of doing what needs doing the right way.

As newly mastered project managers waste hours around tables discussing the obvious and what could be done, we are the ones that shun them and get it done. As yet another gaant chart rolls out of a thousand laser printers, we buck the trend and deliver the features our users actually want.

We are programmers, we have passion, and we change the world. We delivered the world wide web and sparked a information revolution the size of a planet, while a million day-coders wrote yet another login form, or cut and pasted more code to call yet another humdrum stored procedure. We are the people that put color onto your screen, and then provided you all with ways to use it. We are the hackers that taught our computers to speak, and opened up the world of technology to the blind and the visually impaired. We are the innovators that thought of mixing your previous TV with computer technology allowing you to record as much TV as your overweight asses can ever hope to endure.

We are the rebels that shun the 60 hour moron-marathon in favor of working smarter for only 40. We are the arrogant ones ignored for our outspoken opinions, yet relied on as the only line of defence when the ill conceived systems of the day-coders threaten yet another wall street financial melt down.

We are passionate, we are coders, we are hackers and we are artists. We are oversold on your corporate opportunities, and are belittled in our reviews as poor communicators, nerds, and egotists. But we are the ones that change the world. We are the ones that make your life easier. We are the ones that devise ways for you to bring your family and friends closer, simply because we thought it would be fun to do so.

We are programmers, and this is our manifesto.

---Author: Peter Wright