Developers are Artists

Developers are Artists

Thoughts on why many companies that offer coding as a service are failing to achieve something significant and even run out of business.

My experience

I am a developer. I don't own a company, rather I work for companies. However recently I thought of using a different preposition when describing my work status. Is for the right word? I think not in most of the cases and let me explain why.

My work experience so far is in companies that offer coding services. The first is outsourcing for foreign clients because here in Bulgaria is still rather cheap to hire web developers. The next one is a design studio, which works with startups (not one, but many) and offers consultancy, design, and implementation. See, the problem I saw is that they both did not threaten their developers right and as a result, most of the good developers left. The first company left with a lot of junior developers and the result was low quality of the code and unsatisfied clients. The second is rather small and literally left with no developers. Both companies ignored warnings of the code quality and working environment in hunting high profits. 

For a long time I was thinking "They will simply hire new developers. There are a lot of junior/mid/senior devs that are currently on the market. They will just change one dev with another and move on." and I think I was wrong. A developer can work in a team, can code in the standards that the team is providing, can use the same workflow that is used in the team, but one developer can NOT think like other developer and can NOT produce the same code as the other developer even when they both are present with the same problem. That is proved in the time and whoever thinks the opposite is ignoring this or simply does not have enough experience in the field.

Different kind of companies

I can only talk about companies that offer coding as a service. I really don't have experience in product companies and, but I think they are also vulnerable to make this mistake maybe not in the same scale. The product will exist even without the developers, but the owners can't afford to stop product development even for a week or they will be out of the game really fast. There are other factors that can make the companies less vulnerable (but not entirely) like company size, type of product and how innovative it is, is the owner a developer himself/herself. 

Coding as Art

Definition of art (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art)

skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects

You can't code without experience. You can't code without studying either. You can code if you have the skills and understanding of the problem, but they way you approach the problem is the real art of coding. You will be creative in different ways using the skills and tools you have at hand. 

So going back to the question at the start - Is for the right word? I think not. The company can't exist without its employees. This is a lot more valid for software companies than for manufacturers. So maybe "I work with Company X" is more appropriate. 


In the end I want to mention as a developer that most of us simply want understanding, mutual trust and respect. Like every artist do!

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