I was talking with a good friend recently about his start-up company and he was asking me questions about working with developers. I commented to him, off-hand, that the idea of managing software development changes drastically when you think about developers as creatives instead of scientists. Artists, musicians, software developers all spring from the same well.
My friend thought this profound and suddenly understood so many things he couldn’t get before like 60 hour days, a disdain for distractions, odd work schedules, and behavorial hiccups that he couldn’t relate to scientists.
I thought it ordinary, after all I have managed developers for over a decade and have been one of them off and on during that time. I always felt that calling developers computer scientists was a disservice, that placing them within Math departments only described a quarter of the job description.
The funny thing is I never thought to share this with anyone before, figuring most in the computer industry already knew this. But my friend is a 30 year Silicon Valley veteran who worked with some of the best and brightest. If it’s profound to him, maybe it is profound to you, too.