Wow, we link to "Don’t Call Yourself A Programmer, And Other Career Advice" by Patrick McKenzie in our FAQ? Sure he's got some brutally true snippets in there, but overall it's a bad article.
"Engineering is a cost center" is laughable but might be true from a management's perspective. Fun fact: Peter Drucker, that "business oracle" who made these terms? He later appended his idea: “The only profit center is a customer whose cheque hasn’t bounced." But it can be a useful to understand why bad managers will try to undercut you.
Then he has gems like: "companies with broken HR policies where lack of a buzzword means you won’t be selected. You don’t want to work for them". So... You shouldn't work somewhere with broken HR, but broken management is ok?
He DOES have some useful advice, the sort that gets repeated a lot around here: "Many asked how to know what programming language or stack to study. It doesn’t matter." That's something we would be repeating constantly to the stream of students asking us what classes to take. His time estimations might be a bit off, but it's good solid advice about not fretting over the language.
But he really flubs other: "You will have other coworkers who — affably and ethically — will suggest things which go against your interests, from 'I should get credit for that project you just did'. How could that possibly be seen as ethical? And I think that's one of my bigger complaints about this article. Questionable ethics. Oh look, the guy has moved into management and he's a boss that employs programmers. Go figure.
All in all, it's like he's trying to be brutally honest, like someone that's gone past enemy lines and is reporting back all the dirty laundry of management. But it just comes off as cynical and pessimistic. He presumes a very antagonistic relationship between managers and workers. The article, while helpful in some aspects, should not be promoted on SE.Programmers.
"You will have other coworkers who — affably and ethically — will suggest things which go against your interests, from 'I should get credit for that project you just did'. How could that possibly be seen as ethical?It happens to me so much that I guess I just don't notice it anymore. :/
It happens to me so much that I guess I just don't notice it anymore. :/Seriously?!? That's mildly horrifying. Where in the world are you working? And wherever it is, get out. Now. There are much less dysfunctional places to work at out there...