A couple of posts by Peter Presenell and Dan Lowdenmade me think. Am I a real Notes/Domino developer/programmer? At least my business card says so. I think I am. But what makes me a "real" Notes programmer?
First of all, I make a difference between a programmer and a developer. My definition of a programmer is someone that pretty much just produce code, but is not that involved in the actual design of the application. A developer is more involved in actually designing the application, not just writing the code.
But for this discussion, I will use the term programmer, as I will focus on the programming part
I do not thinkthe languages one uses is what makes you a real programmer or not. I think it is in your mind and approach to programming.
- A real programmer "thinks code" all the time. Not just at work.
A real programmer is a problem solver. He/she can’t resist trying to solve a problem when presented with one, may it be computer related or not.
A real programmer constantly try to improve himself and his applications, going back to fix old code to work better/faster, make the user interface better and more efficient, etc.
A real programmer understands the need of user/customer and can come up with solutions for them.
A real programmer have a set of functions in his "toolbox" that can be used in different applications, saving developmenttime.
A real programmer can learn new languages and tools when needed. Knowledge about the syntax of a languages does not make you a good programmer, knowledge about how to write efficient and useful code makes you a good programmer.
I don’t program in Java. I don’t work with Xpages (yet). When I got my first full-time position as a Notes developer in Boston, my boss-to-be called one of my references and askedif I knew Lotusscript, and how good. My reference, a friend where I had mainly been helping himwith development for the web using HTML and @Formula language,answered back something like this: "I don’t know how well he knows Lotusscript, but if he does not he will learn it in no time".
To me, that was one of the greatests comments I been getting. I think that is a sign of being a good/real programmer, to be able to learn new tools as they are needed. I am sure that as soon as we get Notes 8.5.1 here at work, I will start working with Xpages. Butuntil then I havevery little extra time to play with that technology.
However, even if Iconsider myselfa good Notes/Domino developer, I don’t think I am in the same class as many of the "rockstar" developers in thecommunity. I am sure you know who I am talking about, people like Nathan T Freeman, Tim Tripcony, Matt White, Mikkel Heisterberg, Viktor Kranz, Julian Robicheux, et al.