We’re typists first… really?

I read Coding Horror on a semi regular basis, and generally Jeff has a pretty engaging writing style and his posts are fairly interesting. I was really surprised when I read this one though.

Jeff ascertains that “We are typists first, and programmers second”.

Well, I vehemently disagree. While typing ability is obviously important in the job and a necessary skill, saying that we are typists first places very little value on the technical skills required of programmers to do their job well (not to mention the years at university most of us have spent earning our Computer Science degrees, Masters and in some cases PhD’s!).

Personally I don’t even like the label “Programmer”. I feel it undervalues the skills I have. Software Engineer is far more accurate description of the job most of us do. Writing a non-trivial application these days requires an understanding of many challenging concepts.

Todays Software Engineers need to consider concurrency issues, network theory, efficient persistence mechanisms, efficient search algorithms (the volume of data we are dealing with is growing exponentially), but to name a few.

Let’s not sell ourselves short by calling ourselves programmers.

Returning to Jeffs’ typists first allegation though, one comment on his post summed it up nicely for me:

I’ve always really liked your blog Jeff, but this is a BS post


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