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Attributes of Programmers at the Bottom of the Value Chain

We all have to start somewhere, and for most of us that’s at the bottom of the value chain. I’ve always maintained that poor programmers are made and not born. Occasionally, you’ll meet a programmer so intent on moving up the value chain that he or she literally has no time to write good code.

What are the defining attributes of the programmer who is low on the value chain? Generally, the opposite of those attributes listed earlier:

  • Unaware of the needs of others in the value chain
  • Always in a hurry—will fearlessly modify cross-cutting concern code
  • Little or no interest in new ideas or best practices
  • Keen to hand over ownership of code to an unlucky recipient

One company I worked for had what could only be described as an elaborate dance by email, in which many of the programmers engaged. The email dance commenced when a bug was discovered and reported by QA, as programmers tried to shift the responsibility for the bug. The dance concluded with the bug being assigned to someone—not necessarily the bug’s author. In my humble view, the effort of the email dance usually far exceeded the energy required to fix the bug!

So how do you move programmers up the value chain?

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