The Role of the Programmer

I am becoming increasingly disillusioned with the software industry and the growth, and misguided reliance on testing and Quality Assurance. Don’t get me wrong, these functions are vital to the production of software of ‘engineering quality’ but, as an industry, we seem to have forgotten about the need to produce quality code in the first place. The role of programmer, particularly in large organisations and in the offshore model, has been dumbed down to the point of massive inefficiency and imminent self destruction. What has happened to programming pride ?

What happened to empowered Analyst/Programmers who are empathic to the best practice of the industry and to the needs of the customer ? Analysts who would challenge constructively where appropriate and listen with the benefit of experience ?

Even with ‘Agile’ we have comforted ourselves by layering on daily standups, sprint reviews, etc etc. The actual time for producing code of usable quality has dramatically diminished.

This thought process is intended to be provocative and of course QA is vital in the delivery cycle but in today’s world of disposable software the corporate software industry, in my opinion, is losing its way.

The next generation expect to be able download functionally rich, connected, perpetually updated software apps for free, or £1.49 if they’re prepared to invest, and to dispose and replace of it doesn’t meet their need or something better comes along, which inevitably it will. How will the traditional software model compete ?

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