The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Could Bringing Back TV Show ‘Changing Rooms’ Stop The Salary Inflation Of Coders?
August 4, 2016, 6:20 am
Filed under: Comment

That’s quite an interesting post title isn’t it?

Well, it is for me.

OK, so it’s blatant clickbait, however it came about after a conversation with John Dodds, so blame him.

So a while back I wrote about how the television show ‘Changing Rooms’ had potentially ruined creative people’s credibility because whatever the designers did was met with either snorts of derision or claims anyone could do what they did.

Could the average viewer do better than the professional designers?

Well I’m sure some could, but then those people wouldn’t be ‘average viewers’, they would have a special talent – potentially honed through education and loads of practice.

But despite that, the cultural and commercial value of anyone in the ‘creative industry’ was undermined and has arguably, never recovered.

The reason I say all this is because I feel the opposite is happening with the coder industry.

I’ve been fascinated by the rise of the coder in the past few years.

I don’t just mean in terms of awareness, but in terms of salary potential and importance … especially as my Mum was one of the original computer programmers for the calculator and she got none of the acclaim even very average coders get today.

Of course I get why …

The fact is in a highly competitive, consumerist World, companies and society seem to think every coder is capable of producing life changing magic and so to be successful, they need to get them whatever the cost.

But here’s the dirty little secret … because while some definitely have the skill and talent to create truly amazing things, the majority sit in their offices and bedrooms churning out stuff that adds to the noise of mediocrity rather than the elevation of what is possible.

Or said another way, why is someone who can use a spanner seen as a labourer while someone with some ability using a digital spanner is automatically seen as a craftsman?

Look, I’m not knocking it but it’s worth remembering to be really good – be it at coding and DIY – requires talent, skill and practice which means the real difference between the two is cultural perception and value … which is arguably the smartest thing the coding community has ever created and why the last thing they’ll ever want is a ‘Coder Changing Rooms’ show hitting mainstream television screens anytime in the near future.

19 Comments so far
Leave a comment

No time to comment, I’m consulting my lawyers.

Comment by John

Is that to have your name removed from this post John?

Comment by George

Depending on the reaction to the post.

Comment by John

As long as you don’t think it’s going to get you any money John. Ha.

Comment by Rob

Interesting post Robert. A coder friend of mine told me recently the best industry for average coders to work in is the ad industry. Most agencies have no reference or understanding for what makes a good or bad coder and so they pay them very well, thinking they could be the next Zuckerberg.
I am not sure how accurate his perspective is, but having witnessed the relentless rise of “the digital strategist” in the early 2000’s, I think there may be more to his view than just coder distain.

Comment by George

And the salient question they should be asking is whether or not Zuckerberg is a great coder or something else entirely?

Comment by John

Advertising agencies digital strategists tend not to be digitally or a strategist.

Comment by Pete

I’m not a big fan of Zuckerberg but I do regard him as a great coder. The main reason is he uses it to create something new while others tend to use it to solve something old.

Comment by Pete

the best thing that ever fucking happened to planners was digital strategists because there was someone everyone could hate more.

Comment by andy@cynic

and zuckfuck cant be that fucking smart because ive not gone on facebook for fucking years.

Comment by andy@cynic

That could be an example of Zuckerberg’s intelligence.

Comment by Pete

fuck off geeky twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

I expect the salary inflation will eventually subside because a lot of code will be commoditised.

For example. post doc machine learning graduates are starting on $400,000 these days. But at an ML conference last month the consensus was that very soon neural networks will be bought off the shelf because the marginal gains of developing your own are rapidly becoming negligible.

Comment by John

What on earth are you doing on this blog?

Comment by Rob

so now youre using the same fucking post you wrote years ago and repurposing it as some sort of planner revelation. dont know why that surprises me, you did that with your presentations and strategies for fucking donkeys years.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yep. Which means you’ll see this post again in about 5 years.
You call it copying. I call it conserving.

Comment by Rob

As long as someone believes what you do is unique, complex and of great value, then everyone within that industry benefits. The trick is to keep that belief alive for as long as possible.

Comment by Lee Hill

Now that’s what I call marketing.

Comment by John

I’m guessing this is why you never felt comfortable at google.

Comment by Bazza

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