and we spent many hours discussing programming, girls and beer. I got on very well with Chuck and was quite certain we would both be writing code for the rest of our lives.
When I was at IBM I worked with another great coder – Larry Raper. Larry and I worked closely together on one of IBM’s great lost technologies the System Object Model (SOM), and it was through the work on SOM that I received the majority of my patents. Larry and I had many coding discussions together and I have fond memories of those times. Larry was always going to be a coder, I felt sure of it.
Chuck started working for Microsoft in 1989 and today he is a General Manager. Larry is now retired but he spent the last five years of his career as a manager. Both of these great coders took the manager path that I see all too often in our industry. There is only one reason I know that great coders move into “management” – money.
One of the main reasons I started Digital Cheetah was because I didn’t want to end up as a manager. Nothing against managers – a good manager is almost as hard to find as a good coder. What is sad is that our industry almost always takes the best and most experienced coders and makes them managers. I don’t understand why this is because rarely do the best coders make the best managers.
I think companies like Google understand the importance of experience in their coders and only wish that more companies would compensate them fairly. An experienced coder is easily worth ten or more juniors, sometimes a lot more.