Coders are not rock stars

October 14, 2013

Lux Interior (RIP) was a rock star.

Kurt Cobain (RIP) was a rock star.

Courtney Love is a rock star.

Iggy Pop is a rock star.

Ian MacKaye is a rock star (although I’m sure he’d hate to be called one – but if your definition of “rock star” is “an incredibly talented, charismatic and driven musician and performer with a complete dedication to his art and craft and a mission to change the world”, well, he is one)

In my life I’ve been lucky enough to meet all of the above people albeit very briefly. Roughly an hour or so for each of them.

So I feel qualified to say: coders and software developers are not “rock stars”.

Writing code is a great thing. I wish I could do it. But it’s not the same thing as doing this:

Software developers and people who write code are not rock stars. They are more like roadies. Or tour managers. Or riggers. Or even Hells Angels, as this fascinating Rolling Stone article illustrates. Or maybe even in a few cases, George Martin.

There’s nothing wrong with being in the road crew. But let’s be clear about who’s doing what.

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