In Hitting the High Notes, Joel Spolsky tells us that good software is not the result of just putting enough resources into the development process. It is the result of employing the best programmers.
Best Working Conditions → Best Programmers → Best Software → Profit!
For the Rock Star programmers among us, he has some advice:
“Internal, in-house software is rarely important enough to justify hiring rock stars. Nobody hires Dolly Parton to sing at weddings. That’s why the most satisfying careers, if you’re a software developer, are at actual software companies, not doing IT for some bank.”
My previous job was at a software company. We did not deliver Best Software. My working conditions weren’t Best either. We probably weren’t Best Programmers too.
With this conclusion in mind, I have two questions for Mr. Spolsky,
- What to do with this Best Software knowledge, not being a Best Programmer?
- Can one learn to become a Best Programmer?