Home > corporatespeak, life, silicon valley, tech > Saumil’s Guide to stupid ValleySpeak: Rock Star Developers

Saumil’s Guide to stupid ValleySpeak: Rock Star Developers

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that I hate stupid corporate terms that I come across in the Valley. Here is my previous coverage: https://bitbubble.wordpress.com/category/corporatespeak/

Today’s phrase is “Rock Star Developers”.

Everytime you hear a startup founder or a hiring dev manager, its the same goddamn grind: “We’re looking for rock star developers”. I’ve even had some morons come to me and say, “Do you know any rock stars?”. I am simply supposed to know that they’re talking about programmers, not The Chili Peppers. Oh how juvenile of me for questioning your assumptions.

Okay, let me set the record straight: COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS ARE NOT ROCK STARS. THEY ARE NOT ROCK STARS. THEY ARE NOT ROCK STARS. I get it – you’re referring to their competence level, but please. The comparisons are ridiculous. Ask me for von Neumann clones, then, not for people with a drug problem.

Just because a guy smells like a Linux box or hasn’t seen the inside of a gym in 3 years does NOT MAKE HIM A ROCK STAR.

Developers are fine with being developers. They like – nay, love – to build scalable systems. They love to push pixels around until every single one aligns perfectly to their command. Good ones obsess over the efficiency of their algorithms. They fix bugs and document their code (okay, scratch that last one).

No developer I’ve met in my nine years learning and working with computer scientists has said to me, “Boy, I wish a groupie would do lines on the back of this ThinkPad”. Does that really surprise you???

So quit your bogus rockstar developer fantasy. And just deal with the fact that you work in the kingdom of geeks WHO ARE NOT ROCK STARS.

Update: The stupidity never stops. Was hauling tail down 101 this morning and saw a large billboard in San Mateo by obsessed-with-pink Zecco that screamed the following three words: “Rockstar Developers Wanted”. Sigh.

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