Monday, August 27, 2007

An act of rebellion

Paul Graham has been one of my favourite dispensers of wisdom ever since I heard him give a keynote at OSCON back in 2004. In his latest essay Paul talks about holding a program in your head and what that means for the people that have to manage programmers.

Any good programmer in a large organization is going to be at odds with it, because organizations are designed to prevent what programmers strive for... Good programmers manage to get a lot done anyway. But often it requires practically an act of rebellion against the organizations that employ them. Perhaps it will help to understand that the way programmers behave is driven by the demands of the work they do...

Essentially Paul is saying, both in this essay and most of his other writings, that you should hire smart people and let them get on with things. Funnily enough I agree, but as always, the difficult thing is to find the smart people in the first place...