Whither professionalism in our profession?
The title of this
blog post on 37Signals is unprofessional. They are not alone: lots of CEOs curse
, wear jeans
, and commit other sacrileges against the code of conduct we call “professionalism.”
First, there is nothing new about this. Do you consider The Beatles to be “old fashioned?” Did you know that at one time they were the drug using symbols of counter-culturalism?
Revolution in the Valley
tells the incredible story of the creation of the Macintosh, from the perspectives of the people who were actually there. It’s packed with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and little-known secrets.
Much of the material is available on line for free
. Speaking of counter-culturalism and revolutionaries, here is the story of the legendary Pirate Flag
There is a certain appeal to being a symbol of upheaval. Every generation has had its rebels. In fact, a major component of fashion in clothes, music, and programming languages is the degree to which it irritates the “establishment.”Why
do you think there are so many people deriding the Ruby Community
They aren’t making this irritation up: part of the appeal of the Ruby on Rails ecosystem to certain people is that Matthew Huntbach doesn’t like it!
Feel free to say that Java doesn’t work this way. Like people discovering The Beatles late in life, you missed the nineties when Java was the agent of change and some C++ people were deriding it and its supporters as being unprofessional.
I’m not saying Ruby lacks objective value. In case you haven’t noticed, The Beatles made wonderful music that has passed the test of time. Even though some of their appeal was that parents hated their long hair. And 37Signals have something important to say. Even if they say it in an unprofessional way
from time to time.
People being people, the long-term forecast is for sustained tension between conservatives who lament the erosion of professionalism and rebels who wear their unprofessionalism on their sleeve.
And the irony is, the unprofessionals of today will be the stodgy old codgers of tomorrow.
Just ask David Gilmour, CBE
p.s. Sure, there’s an argument about professionalism somehow being correlated with competence. If you wish to make this argument, please be so kind as to provide some empirical evidence in support of your claim. For example, show that programmers wearing a suit to work
outperform their colleagues who do not.
- I have no idea what the “Ruby Community” is. How do you define membership in this community? Matz is obviously in, but after that, who? Why the Lucky Stiff? DHH? Me? I don’t recall being asked to join.