Rise of the 501 Developer

I recently starting seeing some noise about a 501 developer. What the heck is that? I tried to ignore it. But there were too many posts about it. Finally my curiosity got the bes tof me. I come to find that a 501 developer is one who leaves work at exactly 5:01pm. They don't stay late to do more work or help the team.

The 501 developer idea is deeper than that. 501 developers do not go home and continue to code, doing things such as contributing to open source projects or write about software development. The implication is that being a 501 developer is a bad thing.

Now I don't consider myself to be a 501 developer. But I wouldn't mind being one. Who wants to stay at work late? Not me. Not unless I am working on my own startup where my work might make me rich. That is not going to happen when you work for the man.

I have met plenty of 501 developers in my career. They have other priorities. Development is just the day job that pays the bills for them. That is not a bad attitude to have. This helps you from being exploited on death march style projects. You also don't waste time at work and lower your effective hourly wage by working extra hours. Those developers may be the smart ones after all.

Thread Commander

I read an article about the latest ideas for business cards titles. Some were fun like recusionist, multicore general, or daemonologist. Looks like the old rock star moniker is long out of style. The best title I saw in the list was Thread Commander.

Now I would hesitate to use Thread Commander unless you are in full control of multithreaded programming. You would hate for someone to see that title and find you don't know the difference between a mutex and semaphore. Time to brush up on the old multithreaded processing. Better yet, I should already be doing multithreaded programming. We use it on our systems at work. But once they are in place, you don't get into the details often.

I probably should have some side projects that are massively multithreaded. Next I will have to convince the powers that be that I deserve to have Thread Commander on my business cards. It was a chore to make such a business case last time I ordered business cards. Or I could go the east route - just buy my own business cards with whatever title I like