10 November 2009

Ain't No Code Monkey

I am not a code monkey. I am not a geek.

That's why I appreciated Nick Whiteley's post Code Monkeys and the Software Eunuchs.

Many of us are soup to nuts software product developers.

Many contract developers have a breadth of business knowledge unsurpassed by other knowledge workers. Our work day might include a range of tasks from crafting unit tests to coaching a product owner on backlog grooming.

In the past 15 or so years, I have learned about the publishing, financial, manufacturing, medical device, insurance, legal and environmental business sectors. Like other contractors and consultants, my knowledge is perhaps shallow, but like a delta it spreads to the horizon.

And, like many contractors, I run a small business. Running a small business, I know a bit about accounting QuickBooks style, a bit about marketing my company, and a bit about networking with peers and practitioners.

The most underrated contribution of agile is humanistic. In the inclusive world of agile, developers are welcomed to chartering table, the planning table, and the post-mortem table -- not just the workstation. We're players on the product team.

Whether you're stubbornly old-school or unknowingly ill-mannered, please retrain your brain to refrain from belittling notion that developer equals geek or code monkey.

In return for this courtesy, I pledge to bite my tongue the next time I am tempted to think of you as a pencil pusher, bean counter, snake oil salesman, or pointy-headed boss.