I have been writing code professionally on-and-off for almost a decade, but I’ve never the “canonical” titles: programmer, developer, software engineer. I’m good at programming and I enjoy it. In fact I find it almost addicting, when I go a while without writing code I find myself looking for excuses to do it. And because the skill is relatively scarce, when I think about how to have the most impact with my career, finding a high-impact organization and then being a programmer there stacks up pretty well to many of my other options.
But there’s something about the identity that sits uneasy with me. Jonathan Edwards captured some of this:
Programming sucks because we like it that way. It entertains us with puzzles; it affirms our differences from the outgroup; it rewards us with power and wealth. Enough. I am now an anti-programmer.