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I warn you this path takes up about 4 hours of your time if you dare follow. 

So I know I'm bringing up some old posts, but I recently came across them is my night of blog reading.  I recently read Bram Cohen's post about Avalanche.  This lead me to watching his stanford talk. Which took me to some other blog that linked me to Robert Scoble's Zef says Microsoft can't hire great programmers.  Next I read Zef Hamel's post on “Why Microsoft Can't Hire Great Programmers”.   Of course now I had to listen to the Paul Graham’s Great Hackers presentation.  After reading Zef's blog comments, I was taken to  Getchen says Microsoft CAN hire great programmers.  Which leads us back to Zef's More on Identifying Programming Talent.

So after watching, reading, and listening to all this I was inspired to blog about it.  My final synopsis is that I'm REALLY tired of people stereotyping the “Great Programmer“, “Hacker“, whatever... as some long hired, unsocialable, unpresentable guy.  Let's face it people, the reign of those guys died with the startups.  In todays world it's not just good enough to have great ideas or be a great coder.   You have to be able to present and communicate your idea to your peers and managment.  This requires us to dig ourselves out of our holes, step into the light, and speak intelligently/respectfully to others. 

We would all love to sit around in our underwear, write our cool apps, and have them immediately become mainstream, but it just doesn't work these days.  Take Shaun Walker (creator of DotNetNuke) for example or even Bram Cohen (creator of BitTorrent).  Both have started huge initiatives in the developer community, but they had to learn some interpersonal and presentation skills to do it.

So in my opinion, “Great Programmers”, “Hackers”, whatever we call them... do not reside in deep dark basements.  They came from there and have now evolved by learning even more skills.  I've met and know many smart developers, but mastering a few languages is not the end game to be great.

Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2005 10:53 PM Community , Life | Back to top

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