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Every blogger I read claims to have superior coding skills, and every place I have worked claims only to hire superior developers.  In my current position and in my prior one, my employers say they interviewed more than twenty candidates to fill each position.

If that's so, where are the average coders?

I heard one theory - they are all unemployed!  And they keep trying to get jobs but they can't.  So interviewers have a skewed sampling of coders.

I will confirm that in my current and previous position i have worked with much better developers than I had previously.

But I wonder.  I have learned so much in the last year (WCF, TDD, LINQ, PLINQ, Ruby, statistical modeling techniques with third party tools, Dundas charting, advanced NAnt builds, Webparts development, Appistry fabric development, Map-Reduce algorithms, etc.) - perhaps if I were to meet my former self from a year ago I would consider myself an average programmer. 

My sense is that all coders are improving by leaps and bounds each year.

And that most of us have an inflated opinion of our own coding skills.

What do you think?

Interested in your thoughts,

 

Jonathan

Posted on Friday, May 2, 2008 7:24 PM C# , Critique , Software Design , Statistics , Software Development , WCF , ASP.NET | Back to top


Comments on this post: Who Is An Average Developer?

# re: Who Is An Average Developer?
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It's funny, programming is peaks and valleys. Some days I am unstoppable, other days hit with the idiot hammer.... In the end it doesn't matter how or why you did something, all you have to do is look at a few month old code to provoke your own head shaking.
Left by JCichocki on May 02, 2008 9:19 PM

# re: Who Is An Average Developer?
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I have been a developer for 30+ years and a full time consultant for over 24. I have to agree with the average of 20 interviews for a company to find a single qualified coder. My current client has been looking for a "strong" developer for about 2 months now. No luck.

Candidates who boast about "superior" or "Expert" skills simply cant answer basic questions.

So my opinion is:
"90% of coders looking for positions are crap....but then 90% of everything is crap".

Stop by by blog over the next few days for a post on this very topic.

www.geekswithblogs.net/TheCPUWizard
Left by TheCPUWizard on May 02, 2008 10:51 PM

# re: Who Is An Average Developer?
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Many times I have interviewed candidates who could not answer one basic object-oriented question: what is the difference between public, protected, and private? Or just the basics of polymorphic programming.

Are programmers getting smarter? Hmmm...yes and no. In a way I feel I have increased my knowledge with Google and the fantastic amount of open source software out there. In another way, I find myself making mistakes that I realize I had encountered years before. Which is why I started blogging so I would not forget!
Left by Richard Guion on Jun 03, 2008 5:33 PM

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