Why I Write
Note: This page is a snippet taken from my article on Personas in Writing
I’m writing because I personally feel that software development has a high barrier to entry and this barrier is causing problems.
I’m not talking about the basics of “this is a for loop and these are variables”.
I’m talking about things like “How do I avoid having to change every file in a program when making a simple change” or “Here’s how to make it impossible for bugs to thrive in your systems” or even “This is what functional programming has to offer“.
In software development, we have a habit of performing litmus tests that effectively say “You’re not a real developer unless…”:
- You know the difference between
- You can describe Big O notation in under a minute
- You don’t get frightened by terms like dependency injection or cyclomatic complexity
- You’ve been known to say “adapter builder factory” in your sleep
- You know the deep internal details of how threading or garbage collection works in your language of choice
- You’ve made at least one junior developer cry during a code review
Folks, these types of measurements are dangerous.
People struggle with impostor syndrome every day, and let’s face it: the software development profession has a very severe diversity problem; Just over 6% of my readership is female and that’s actually high in the software development world.
Yes, it’s good to know the ins and outs of a language. Yes it’s good to know standard industry terms. But you have to realize that people are entering the field in different ways now via boot camps and other avenues than they were a decade ago.
Yes, this new breed of coder may not have had as much theory or practice but they work hard, are passionate, and want to make a difference. Let’s not shame them for it, but instead build up their skills, knowledge, and comfort to help them succeed and contribute more.
And that’s a part of what I’m all about.