15 September 2010

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Code Monkeys

This is a repost of an article that I originally wrote for Technorati and was published there.

I was reading Jason Hiner's article, "We're entering the decade of the developer", and it sparked some thoughts about apps, developers and the future of both.

As Jason notes, developers are an upcoming force to reckon with, but so are consumers. As apps become more popular, user expectations – and demands – will rise. This means that there will be zero tolerance for UI issues, a demand for sleek design and speed, and high levels of core functionality.

What does this mean for developers? Quite a bit, actually. There will be a need for more than just "code monkey" developers. Visionaries and entrepreneurs who understand the market and its future opportunities, and collaborate with top notch developers to realize those visions will win in the end.

Bottom line: In order to succeed developers will need access to design/UI people and marketing and distribution mechanisms that are easily accessible and have a critical mass of users.

Luckily some of those already exist (and are improving all the time) and many are quite easy to use and can even be free. For the visionaries and entrepreneurs who see and seize these, along with some great infrastructures that are readily available (Paypal, cloud computing, collaboration tools, oDesk, code-sharing/Q&A sites, communication tools...), there are endless opportunities.

This only means good things for consumers and the apps they consume as this decade offers developers much in the way of visibility and possibility.


  1. Developers are the unsung heroes working quietly behind the scenes in our industry—they deserve much more praise and respect. In many organizations it seems there are many more non-technical people than programmers in key decision making roles—this is shortsighted and unfortunate, but slowly changing I think.
    Developers can (and should) be included in strategy and planning processes influencing 'how' and 'what' ultimately gets produced for the digital space—everyone benefits and things just end up working better.

  2. I agree. I believe that a startup based around developer culture, with a strong developer dominance has a better chance of succeeding.
    Paul Graham talks a lot about this and how hackers are the driving force for technology startups.