Why we don't need more programmers

November 30, 2015

This post is directed towards those learning to program at universities and elsewhere.

Most of the people I know aren’t programming anything creative. They’re working on the same old washed up concepts. An app for this, a social network for that.

In an environment where there is so much to explore people consistently focus on the trivial. They observe at the wrong magnification and categorize superficially. They fixate on a few details and ruminate, endlessly.

I think this stems from how people see themselves.

“I’m a programmer.”

It’s a word that says so little, but yet takes up so much space. When you identify as a programmer you’re inherently throwing away information about yourself. It implies a lack of intent. Calling yourself a programmer is limiting. Calling yourself a programmer is lazy.

You may say, well that’s just language. You’re right, but language is what we use to communicate. Language is how we think. Language is powerful.

When you free yourself from restrictive language you free yourself from restrictive thoughts.

So be an artist who codes an exhibit. Be a sound engineer who generates music. Be a game maker who creates adventure. Be a statistician who discovers patterns. Be a networking magician who conjures common ground. But don’t be just another programmer.