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Different breed of programmers

19 Jul 2010

After talking to a few of my colleges I’m thinking of the different kind of programmers needed for different projects, for different aspects of projects.

Duct tape programmer:
Writing code that ships. Does not necessarily need to look clean. Will probably not write any unit-tests. No fancy abstractions, no patterns or anything.

Maintenance programmer:
Have had every sort of wrench imaginable thrown right in the face. This guy will be very skeptic of dirty code. It’s about pragmatic programming and excelling at making sure that old stuff works.

The thing is: Different type of programmers are good for different things in a project. A maintenance programmer (or a programmer in that mode) will not necessarily be any good at writing new applications FAST (like really, really fast). Maybe the sales force needs something done within a week or a few days. Then you’re looking for a duct tape programmer. But don’t kid yourself. Finding people good at this kind of skills is hard. Problem is, you might loose time by pressuring the other programmers into writing code fast. People might think that they are duct tape programmers. But seriously, few of us are.

Duct tape programming, the term that comes to mind is Quick & Dirty
As a coworker said:


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