Software Professionals

There seem to be at least two major kinds of software company; fortunately I have mostly worked in environments where most of the programmers are competent.

There is another kind of company, filled with people who can probably most kindly be described as having ``severe and profound management potential'', and most of them are pretty much limited to programming in COBOL, Java or Visual Basic. These are the people who are addressed by methodologies (an attempt to find a substitute for knowing what you're doing). They often describe themselves in terms such as ``Software Professionals'', rather than ``programmers'', ``hackers'', or ``developers''. To establish themselves as the ``professionals'' (and they are not using the term pejoratively!) they have come up with a disrespectful term for the working practices of those who don't need methodologies: ``cowboy coding''.

It's noticeable that they need to go on expensive courses to learn new languages, libraries, frameworks, and so on, whereas competent traditional programmers would just look at sample code, or, at most, read the manual or a short book.

John C. G. Sturdy
[John's home] Last modified: Sun Jun 10 22:00:02 GMT Daylight Time 2007