Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Good developers don't just do it for the money

Is there anybody out there for whom this is true?

Im a good developer. 
I do it *entirely* for the money.
As a coincidence I also happen to love programming, but if it wasn't for the money I wouldn't be doing the work I am doing.  <g> Id be writing the 'next big thing'.
In fact, if it wasn't for the money, Id prolly be doing something else entirely....tree pruning perhaps...

So..lets hear it, are there any developers left out there who do not work for the money?
If so, what do you do?  what is it you love so much about it?

Hasan Basri
Thursday, January 30, 2003

I do it for 2 reasons.  Firstly, the money.  Secondly, I can't think of anything else I'd rather do.  If the first reason goes though, it might be easier to find a replacement.

not my regular made up name
Thursday, January 30, 2003

This is like that question in "Office Space", right?  If you had a million dollars?

Anyhoo... 

Nat Ersoz
Thursday, January 30, 2003

The question should have been "What would you be doing in a communist state where everyone gets paid the same?"

RM
Thursday, January 30, 2003

"Two chicks at the same time..."

GiorgioG
Thursday, January 30, 2003

Note the question:

"Good developers don't *just* do it for the money" (emphasis added).

As the original poster said: "As a coincidence, I also happen to love programming". Well, you don't just do it for the money then. Ergo, that is true! :)

Nah, seriously though: it's a job: I seriously doubt that there's anyone who does it that cares nothing for the money. But I'd be very surprised if that was the sole consideration.

Mike Swieton
Thursday, January 30, 2003

"Is there anybody out there for whom this is true?"

Where have you been hiding?  Haven't you ever heard of the Open Source movement or the word hobbyists?

Perhaps you check out http://slashdot.org/

Lots of "software should be free" advocates seem to hangout there.

one programmer's opinion
Friday, January 31, 2003

Yeah, but how do they pay rent?

As for me, I think I'm a decent developer.  I got into database programming because I got fired from a networking job, discovered I liked it, and kept at it.  The money was sort of accidental.  I'm currently unemployed again, and I'm taking the time to learn new languages and platforms.  You could even say I do it to pass the time!  (=

Sam Gray
Friday, January 31, 2003

I was about to answer with the phrase "open source" also, but I remembered this: a while back a survey was done of active open source developers.


Contrary to the popular impression of "unemployed geek loser living in parent's basement writing unpaid software for ego trip & sense of control, ranting self righteously on Slashdot" the reality instead seemed to be the following. Most contributing open source developers already had day jobs in the IT or engineering sectors and developed open source software in order to hone their skills, to learn new aspects of the craft, and to expand their knowledge and their personal networks.


In other words, open source in this light sounds surprisingly like a hybrid of the old notion of craft guild, and it's generally done not only for altruistic or control reasons but also for self improvement as a professional.  Ultimately leading to better and more lucrative jobs, I would suppose... so it probably comes back to money but in a highly elliptical way.

Bored Bystander
Friday, January 31, 2003

Why do I post to this forum? (You may be asking me the same question)

I do it for the money.

If I had all the money in the world, I would do it for the money. But I like it. It’s interesting and fun. I would probably do less of it if I had all the money in the world. More time with family, more time reading…

More time counting my money…

More time hiring FSF guys to do stuff for me…

Money
Friday, January 31, 2003

I don't just do it for the money, but if I didn't cut code for any money, there are some very different changes.

I wouldn't start work until at least midday, and finish coding at 3am.

I'd do things that I consider "fun" or worthwhile. Solving a problem specific to, say, a large bank with lost of money to throw at it, is probably not something under this category. Writing multi player network puzzle games does, though.

I'd work from home, and be a lot less productive as there are so many distractions around.

Better than being unemployed...
Friday, January 31, 2003

I absolutely loved programming.  Being able to program for a living, and use your brain to its fullest capacities (at least sometimes) is a blessing that can't be appreciated until you do hard labor for a real paycheck.  That said, I also hated getting home from work at 9pm each night, year in year out.

Bella
Friday, January 31, 2003

I do it because I once loved it, and now all that's left is the occassional pang of admiration.
It's enough to keep me going.

Everything else I love doesn't pay.

Alberto
Friday, January 31, 2003

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

--Confucius

Lauren B.
Friday, January 31, 2003

There is a job I would love. A musician.

I picked up on music and computers when I was about 5, but as I grew up it became obvious which one had the better paid occupation, and which one would never seem like real work.

I do lots of gigs, but it never brings home the sort of cash a development job does.

So, I guess I do do it for the money after all.

Better than being unemployed...
Friday, January 31, 2003

I like what I do, but it is not exactly what I would do if there was no money in it. Work means requirements, schedules, quite shocking responsibilities, deadlines, compromises, irreversible choices...
Play would mean doing maybe some similar stuff but with none of the above.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, January 31, 2003


  I agree with Just me (Sir to you).

  If I didn't have do develop for money, I'd probably be doing it for fun.  But I'd definetly be working in a totally different project. 

Ricardo Antunes da Costa
Friday, January 31, 2003

I've been developing a Configuration Management product based around some new concepts for the past year. I took 4 months off and since July I've been on a 3-day week.

I intend to sell the product when it's finished, preferably outright, but if not then by creating the necessary organisation to sell and support it myself.

There's a chance I'll never manage to sell it or make a business out of it and I accept this. I'm developing in .NET and it is taking almost every waking hour to think about the design and to develop the code.

I'm motivated by the prospect of independence from employers, of building something good and of course of making some good money at the end of it. However I'm prepared that if it all goes tits up then I'll still have the experience and the new skills, and something good in my portfolio to show prospective employers. And despite the hard work it's a hell of a buzz when you've spent 2 months deep in thought around a particular conundrum and finally come up with a great solution!

Not sure I'd do it if there wasn't the prospect of money though.

Gwyn
Friday, January 31, 2003

[Being able to program for a living, and use your brain to its fullest capacities (at least sometimes) is a blessing]

Yes it is. There are several things I love to do -- music, writing, reading, etc., in addition to programming. It's easier for me to make money by programming than by doing any of the other things I love, so that's how I spend more of my time.
I hate certain things about developing software but that's mostly the interpersonal aspects (angry clients, mean managers, lack of appreciation, etc.). I'm not letting those things take the fun out of it.
For a person who loves to create things with words, programming as a job is really a blessing. It makes the ugly aspects tolerable, and at the end of the day I know I am lucky.

PC
Saturday, February 01, 2003

I used to love programming and building software. But nowdays, with a bit more experience under my belt and a better idea of how things work in this industry, I turned into a cynical. Too cynical to allow things to go on this way.

Ocasionally I get involved in a project the right way, the fun way. But it's always a deja vu, just like trying to remind myself that working in this industry simply sucks.

So, right now I cut crap to the right or crap to left - whatever the management thinks will get the sharehodlers richer - while I try to figure out which way I go from here.

Oh, and one more thing, IMHO there's a lot more to life than just money and work (or work and money 8).

Regards

Dino
Monday, February 03, 2003

IMHO people works for 3 causes:

honor (respect)
money
sex

thats all (i'm not joking)

Roberto
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

not listed in order :)

Roberto
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

It's actually a very simple question.

If your boss said tomorrow that you would never get paid another penny, would you stay?

No, of course not. Ergo, you do it for the money, on some level.

Joe

http://www.joegrossberg.com

Joe Grossberg
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

"honor, money, sex"

hmm... which of those motivated van gogh?

Dennis Atkins
Tuesday, February 04, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home