Better respect for developers

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I was into a conversation that got me pretty hot under the collar. I was talking to this project manager about how he manage projects, and his views on software development. He was pretty upset about dual track career path the company is implementing, one is business track and one is technical track.

I asked him why is it so. He said the technical track is useless. No developer will stay developer for more than 3 years. And he added that developers will always be cost centers so adding a technical track will increase cost for the company.

But one needs to read wikipedia to understand the importance of cost centers. One need to understand that it is NOT possible for the company to be a complete 100% profit center and no cost center. And server admins / system architects do take pride in setting up HA architecture that helps to support millions of users at the fraction of the cost, and that takes skills, experience and expertise. Nowadays on the cloud, it is so easy to create a server at the click of the button. Cost control take an upmost importance.

Companies that value technical talent should have a technical track and not force developers to be promoted to project managers that ends up forcing the peter principle on them. Companies should also allow developers to scope down their job scope to a certain technology (e.g. JavaScript) that will help push the limits of the company’s product, instead of staying as a full stack developer. Roles are Senior Developers and Senior Architects helps give tech guys a sense of responsibility and guide the younger ones

In conclusion, I think the blame culture on developers that they are the reason of the burn rate needs to change. HR and management need to work together to come up with policies to retain technical talent and hence when undergrads from JC or secondary school wants to choose a course, they will tend to choose engineer courses.

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One thought on “Better respect for developers

  1. This is highly regrettable. I spoke to a HR professional on this and she tells me this is in part due to a breakdown of communication between manager and their direct reports — the developers. The manager needs to work harder to bridge the gap by helping developers translate their work into value for the company.

    Also, saying engineering is a cost center is IMO incorrect. Without engineering, sales won’t have anything to sell and that will directly affect the profits!

    I totally get why you’re so upset with this.

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