[Pdx-pm] Software development and The Rules

Raymaker, Dora dora.raymaker at xo.com
Wed Sep 25 13:51:41 CDT 2002

-----Original Message-----
From: lemming at attbi.com [mailto:lemming at attbi.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 25, 2002 10:56 AM
<someone else pointed out, a lot of managers don't
<really go for mentoring and just tell their programmers
<to get it done.

Heh, I've been following this thread with some interest because I am 1. not
officially a "programmer" either by title or by paycheck; 2. not a degree
holder in CS (I have a BFA in painting); 3. currently working on several
perl projects and one xml/javaScript/java monstrosity for work.  I know I
have a very good head for abstract math, but I have *no clue* if I am a good
programmer and neither do my managers.  All any of us know is that they want
web stuff that "does things" and somehow I am able to make that happen.
There are more experienced programmers here who I badger on a regular basis
for information, but they have jobs too aside from helping me.  And of
course if we had enough programmers so that mentoring was actually possible,
I probably wouldn't be asked to do programming in the first place (not that
I've regretted a moment of it;-).

The point here is that inherent in the environment I work in, there is no
opportunity for mentoring or for solid code review.  I wonder how many other
companies are similar, and how related to the issues raised in this thread
the kind of frantic, resource-poor development culture is.  Is this a
byproduct of the frenzy in the late '90's?  A byproduct of management's
perception of "cowboy" computer culture?  A byproduct of the fact that no
one really understands the "magic" of programming other than someone who
does it?

I don't really know, but I do know that: 1. I have learned that I love
programming; 2. I would love it even more if I could get rid of the constant
nagging feeling that I have just done something incredibly stupid and deeply
ugly without knowing it; 3. would jump up and down and make happy squealy
noises and maybe even kiss someone on the nose if some sort of informal
mentoring program was put into place locally :-)


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