Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Programming Apple

Has Apple Made Programmers Cool? 378

Posted by samzenpus
from the for-some-definition-of-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNET suggests that Apple has totally changed the general public's perception of programmers: It's now suddenly cool to code. No matter what platform you're on. They argue that App Store millionaire success stories have 'turned a whole generation of geek coders from social misfits into superheroes.' Apparently, gone are the days when a programmer was the last person you wanted to talk to at a party: 'Mention to someone that you make apps and their interest will pick up instantly. This is an astonishing change from what a programmer in the '80s could have expected in reaction to their job description.' The App Store millionaires, or 'Appillionaires,' may have done all of us programmers a huge favor. Programming is now socially acceptable: 'Previous generations strapped on electric guitars and fought for super-stardom in sweaty dive bars, but today's youth boot up Xcode on their MacBook Pros.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Has Apple Made Programmers Cool?

Comments Filter:
  • No, they haven't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CmdrPony (2505686) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:32AM (#38083370)
    The only reason for the change is that more socially skilled persons have started using computers at an young age, and continued doing so (and even started programming) while still maintaining their social skills. Don't worry - if you were socially awkward before, you're still as uncool as you even were.

    One of the reasons is also that geeks in general don't understand good manners. They view down to people with other interests (how many times have you read here on Slashdot some rants about how stupid people are because they don't know everything about computers), go on and on about their own interests (computers, programming, RPG games..) without even thinking if the other side is interested to talk about that. Geeks cannot grasp the concept of being and acting friendly to other people. It doesn't make only you feel awkward - it makes the other side feel awkward too.

    I have enjoyed programming since I was 7-8 years old. I still kind of do. However, it has never been my whole life. There's one great thing growing up in computer generations. Since I turned 20, I've been traveling the world while working on the side. Since all I need for my work is a computer and an internet access, I can do it on the road. Along the way I've met lots of interesting people (and especially girls) who I've all told to that I do programming for a living and it's also how I can travel around the world and live on the road. If anything, that has made people interested. And I really don't myself as an uncool guy, nor do all the women I've met along.

    Like it or not, social skills are.. well, skills. If you suck at them, you should try to improve them any way you can. It's not that other people think programmers are uncool, it just comes from the fact that those people often cannot act socially. If an otherwise social and successful person tells he likes programming, does anyone care? No. It's just a matter of being social and not having the only interest in your life be programming.
    • by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:44AM (#38083426) Journal

      Along the way I've met lots of interesting people (and especially girls) who I've all told to that I do programming for a living and it's also how I can travel around the world and live on the road. If anything, that has made people interested. And I really don't myself as an uncool guy, nor do all the women I've met along.

      If you use phrases of adolescent self-promotion such as "especially girls" and "all the women I've met", you're uncool.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:16AM (#38083550)

        Yep, it's cool nowadays to say "All the men I've had sex with."

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        That is perspective depending Hazel, he _needs_ social skills otherwise he couldn't get the 'girls'. Apparently that is high on his priority list.
        Everything, from programming to social interaction can be learned, unless you have a medical condition. However this doesn't mean it is easy to learn, for some people some things are harder then for others. Since time is limited, people need to make a choice am I going to spend time on what I am already good at and enjoy or do I grind through the learning process

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          A programmer needs girls so he can roll tits left and roll tits right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by somersault (912633)

      "Like it or not, social skills are.. well, skills. If you suck at them, you should try to improve them any way you can."

      "Like it or not, social skills are.. well, skills. If you suck at them, you should try to improve them any way you can."

      First off - If someone's only interest is programming, why the hell would they care about social skills? Why "should" they try to improve them? Why does everyone in the world have to conform to your ideas?

      Besides that - you seem to have exposure to an extremely small set

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by umghhh (965931)
        with a bit of brains and letting years wear you tired you kind of become a misanthropic bastard all by itself no effort on your side needed. The common idiocy of human kind will make you so or at least has a good shot at it. This however does not have much to do with your 'social skill' thing. There are certain things that are hard wired and changing them is difficult if not impossible. You can compensate some of those if you are unlucky to have such 'weird' characteristic but you would consciously have to
        • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:43AM (#38083682)

          with a bit of brains and letting years wear you tired you kind of become a misanthropic bastard all by itself no effort on your side needed.

          I've spent a great deal of time and effort honing my misanthropy you insensitive clod

        • Yep, try not to make it personal if you're pointing out problems I guess. A lot of the time I just don't try to get involved in stuff like that because if I started trying to fix other department's workflows I'd probably be at it for a few years before everything was sorted out, and I don't have the time for that..

      • by LordNacho (1909280) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:22AM (#38083594)

        First off - If someone's only interest is programming, why the hell would they care about social skills?

        IMO programming is inherently a social activity. Aren't most programmers writing things that other people are meant to interact with? When you code, don't you ask the users what they think of your creation, how to improve it, etc? Don't you also try to influence how they use the program? That's a social thing, surely?

        • Re:No, they haven't (Score:5, Informative)

          by somersault (912633) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:39AM (#38083916) Homepage Journal

          The act of programming itself is certainly not inherently social. Most programmers seem to code much better when they are left to themselves for hours/days/weeks to just fully immerse themselves in the problem that they're trying to solve. Other areas of software development can benefit from having good social skills, for example if you get involved with the customer then you can save a lot of wasted time having to re-write things when they come back and say "that's not what we asked for!".

          You also have to bear in mind that not all programming is applications programming There are researchers who may be writing programs to solve specific problems where there is no end user per se. Other people may use the code or ideas that have emerged from solving this problem, but they will probably just read that that in a paper rather than strictly requiring any social interaction. Also when it comes to writing things like device drivers, the only thing you'd really expect to get back from users are bug reports.

          • by _merlin (160982) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:05AM (#38084464) Homepage Journal

            Most programmers seem to code much better when they are left to themselves for hours/days/weeks to just fully immerse themselves in the problem that they're trying to solve.

            Bullshit - I'm a developer who's evolved into a guy who programs in between management and handling business relationships. The kinds of people who work better when left alone for extended periods of time just aren't that good. The best developers take advantage of being part of a group. Just talking about stuff with each other greatly improves what they produce. The interaction breeds better ideas, and having people to bounce ideas off, or even just banter with, keeps frustration levels down.

            The act of programming itself is certainly not inherently social.

            Yeah, that's true, but it neglect the fact that humans are inherently social.

            • Re:No, they haven't (Score:4, Interesting)

              by somersault (912633) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:51AM (#38084776) Homepage Journal

              I'm not sure what you mean by "aren't that good". It's pretty egotistical to say that guys like Ken Thompson "aren't that good".

              I suppose the fact is that there are different ways to be good at programming - some people are better at solving architectural issues, some are better at finding clever algorithms to solve problems, some people simply organise their code better, etc. So programmers can complement each other by interacting for sure, but that's more in design/thinking stages than when it actually comes to writing code. For coding, I've not read of anyone that actually likes to work in an environment full of distractions. It sounds like maybe you don't mind it. In that case you're either very good at fitting programming problems + social interaction into your head at the same time, or you are working on some really simple problems.

              Anyway, what about guys like me who are the only developer in the company, and just have to get on with it themselves? I don't feel that I need a team to help me figure things out. I seem to be getting on fine as-is.

              • by _merlin (160982)

                For coding, I've not read of anyone that actually likes to work in an environment full of distractions. It sounds like maybe you don't mind it. In that case you're either very good at fitting programming problems + social interaction into your head at the same time, or you are working on some really simple problems.

                Well the real world comes complete with distractions included. If you have a complex system to support and develop, you're going to need people who can deal with it. There will be support calls

                • That's all true, but I've become much more productive since I wangled my way into a quieter office, and we brought a second IT guy on board to handle most of the basic IT support needs of the company :)

                  I do have to deal with constantly changing requirements, and currently around 4 or 5 different projects, as well as occasional IT management and second line support duties. I enjoy the programming aspect of my job the most when I have a clear set of goals to work towards, and nobody interrupts me :p

          • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:44AM (#38084736) Homepage

            The act of programming itself is certainly not inherently social.

            Only when we limit the definition of programming to the mere act of typing instructions or prototyping an algorithm. In other words, this is true only if you equate the act of programming itself with the act of coding at the micro level. That has not been true for several decades now.

            Also, with a programming task above a certain level of complexity, even if you methodically divide and conquer, you have to go back to some source for clarification on requirements or requirement discovery, verification and validation, peer consultation and verification. This is specially true for necessarily volatile business requirements and/or non-functional requirements that will have an effect in the architecture of any non-trivial, sufficiently complex system.

            Most programmers seem to code much better when they are left to themselves for hours/days/weeks to just fully immerse themselves in the problem that they're trying to solve.

            Under ideal conditions when you know enough of the problem (and there are no external forces to cope with) this is true for most. But programming does not occur under those conditions. I would also argue that if someone needs/thinks to need to immerse in a problem for weeks, there is a chance to introduce errors and come up with a flawed solution. A task requiring weeks of immersion is a task/problem of such complexity that it requires constant collaboration, validation and verification from peers in order to achieve an appropriate solution for the aforementioned task/problem.

            Other areas of software development can benefit from having good social skills, for example if you get involved with the customer then you can save a lot of wasted time having to re-write things when they come back and say "that's not what we asked for!".

            It's not only customers, but liaisons, business analysts, vendors, admins, fellow programmers in the same team, programmers in external teams, program managers (and if you do R&D or work with the DoD or DoE, with systems engineers, electrical/computer engineers, mechanical engineers, etc.) In other words, stakeholders.

            You also have to bear in mind that not all programming is applications programming There are researchers who may be writing programs to solve specific problems where there is no end user per se. Other people may use the code or ideas that have emerged from solving this problem, but they will probably just read that that in a paper rather than strictly requiring any social interaction.

            My point exactly, we rarely get days (and surely never get weeks) to immerse ourselves in a solution space when programming. We can't, as it is a sure way to produce the wrong solution for the wrong problem. That is what differentiates the mere act of coding with the act of programming (which itself is different from the act of systems and software engineering and development.)

            Also when it comes to writing things like device drivers, the only thing you'd really expect to get back from users are bug reports.

            Really, and where do they get their requirements for said drivers then? In addition of users bug reports, said programmers get requirements from marketing, market/product development and R&D. I think there is too much focus here on "users". Think stakeholders.

        • Re:No, they haven't (Score:5, Interesting)

          by JoeMerchant (803320) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:21AM (#38084568) Homepage

          First off - If someone's only interest is programming, why the hell would they care about social skills?

          IMO programming is inherently a social activity.

          You're obviously new at this. OSS is a social activity, before "the net" it was more common to encounter programmers like Ted. Ted worked for a company for five years, he was a freakin' genius, he wrote all the software in 100 devices that the company makes and sells. He wrote it all by himself, and maintained it when there was an upgrade required. The company was successful enough that, finally, Ted couldn't handle all the software by himself. They hired a couple of kids fresh out of school to help Ted. It didn't go well, in a short time, Ted left. The kids built up to a team of 5 or 6, but they had a high attrition rate, most quit within 6 months and few ever produced anything usable as a product. Finally, 3 or 4 years after Ted's departure, a core set of programmers were established who could work "as a team," sort of, at least they didn't up and quit when they had a disagreement. Even 10 years after Ted's departure, the sales staff still refers to "the Tedware," and it is still running the majority of the products - even though the new stuff looks better because it is built with modern tools, it takes a team of 3 programmers 6 times as long to make a product "ready for sale" as it took Ted "back in the day."

        • by Hognoxious (631665) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @11:20AM (#38085836) Homepage Journal

          When you code, don't you ask the users what they think of your creation, how to improve it, etc?

          Hell no, I work on Linux.

      • by bronney (638318)

        I bet that if a few Slashdot posters met up in real life they'd get on pretty damn well compared to how they do here.

        asl plz?

      • by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:17AM (#38083810) Homepage Journal

        First off - If someone's only interest is programming, why the hell would they care about social skills? Why "should" they try to improve them? Why does everyone in the world have to conform to your ideas?

        Because it totally sucks having to work with socially abhorant people, it makes the day worse for everyone around them. Even the ones that are polite, but introverted and quiet become a communication energy drain eventually.

        Whilst you're right, they don't have to conform to anyone's ideas of the social norm, it helps everyone around you if you have a reasonable set of social skills, which in turn helps yourself.

        Unless of course you are a basement dwelling millionaire, cranking out appstore apps with no human contact, then by all means carry on, but that lady that serves you Cheetos would have a much better day if you smiled at her when paying!

        • by dodobh (65811) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:50AM (#38083984) Homepage

          Quiet introverts are only a communication drain for extroverts. Extroverts are a communication energy drain for inroverts.

          • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:26AM (#38084602) Homepage

            Quiet introverts are only a communication drain for extroverts. Extroverts are a communication energy drain for inroverts.

            All things in life need balance - a group of extroverts will spend an hour on morning coffee, two on lunch, and schedule themselves into informal and formal meetings for most of the day. If all you have are extroverts, nothing gets done.

            If you have an "introvert farm" with each in their own little bubble, it can be very hard to "herd the cats" into a common activity without dragging them into some meetings. If you don't get them in meetings often enough, the meetings become painful experiences for everybody involved.

          • by AdamJS (2466928)

            Or for project managers, code reviewers, clients, basically anyone that needs to ensure a project is completed on time and up to snuff.

        • by somersault (912633) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:58AM (#38084032) Homepage Journal

          I get what you're saying, it's all quite sensible - but I think anyone who is really socially aware should try to put themselves in other's shoes rather than expect everyone to be like they are.

          It's funny that you should say introverted people can be a drain on others, because that's exactly how introverts feel about all social interaction. Last year I met the quietest woman I've ever met - she finds it incredibly draining to have to be around other people all the time, and prefers at least a day a week to herself to "recharge". I think all of us can understand that feeling to some extent, but there are people out there who have to deal with an exaggerated version of that feeling, and there's very little they can do to change that short of taking medication.

          • by jittles (1613415)
            Everyone has been on that business trip with the guy who just won't talk... you spend hours and hours with them at the airport, at meals, in the car driving to and from your destination, and they don't say a word! It's miserable. You'd rather be there by yourself than be with the guy who can't say anything more than "hello" and "good night."
            • Did you ever consider that this guy just doesn't like you, or hates the sound of your voice? Are you one of those people that can't stand silence and so have to fill it in with inane ramblings? :p

              • by jittles (1613415)
                This particular person is like this with everyone. You can't even get him to talk about the stuff he is working on, even if its important to his career. I never said that I wanted to ramble on about inane things. But if you're going to spend a week with someone on a trip, you need to say more than just hello and good night. It's just common courtesy, and I'd suspect that it's new to you since you think that being pleasant to your coworkers is inane.
            • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:54AM (#38084380)

              Everyone has been on that business trip with the guy who just won't talk... you spend hours and hours with them at the airport, at meals, in the car driving to and from your destination, and they don't say a word! It's miserable. You'd rather be there by yourself than be with the guy who can't say anything more than "hello" and "good night."

              Even worse is the guy who just won't shut up. Ever sit next to one of them on a plane when you just want to read?

              • BORE, n.: A person who talks when you wish him to listen.

                EGOTIST, n. A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me.

                - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

      • by geekoid (135745)

        " why the hell would they care about social skills?"
        Because good social kills can get you better job, cooler programming gigs(cool to you), and even help you get funding for your own programming company. It can get you better deals, and it can help you improve your skills.

        "Why does everyone in the world have to conform to your ideas?"
        The world is a social place, learn the skills s you can get what you want easier.

        Sure, you can be a rude cranky SOB programming in the basement of some company, but is that rea

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)

      The only reason for the change is that more socially skilled persons have started using computers at an young age, and continued doing so (and even started programming) while still maintaining their social skills. Don't worry - if you were socially awkward before, you're still as uncool as you even were.
      One of the reasons is also that geeks in general don't understand good manners. They view down to people with other interests (how many times have you read here on Slashdot some rants about how stupid people are because they don't know everything about computers), go on and on about their own interests (computers, programming, RPG games..) without even thinking if the other side is interested to talk about that. Geeks cannot grasp the concept of being and acting friendly to other people. It doesn't make only you feel awkward - it makes the other side feel awkward too.

      Generalizing a bit too much, aren't you? There aren't a lot of geeks that have only one interest. It's the general public's interest in software that has increased -> interest in people that make it increased. At one time building websites was cool, therefore web developers got a boost in interest.
      And I wouldn't call that social skills, because most pe

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by BenoitRen (998927)

      how many times have you read here on Slashdot some rants about how stupid people are because they don't know everything about computers

      Way to misrepresent the argument. The problem is that people seem to lose common sense as soon as they sit down in front of a computer because they think it's magic, and they refuse to learn how to work with it.

    • by PaladinAlpha (645879) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:10AM (#38083530)

      If talking about programming isn't cool, and programming is what you do (i.e. not something your daddy sent you to school for to cash in on) then you're simply talking to the wrong people. I don't care if programming is 'cool.' I understand that a lot of people aren't interested in software development, or algorithms, or computer science proper. Those people are uninteresting to me, just as I am uninteresting to them. I've got better things to do than make small talk.

      Note that 'programming' is kind of like 'engineering' in that it covers a lot of smaller specific interests; my fiance knows little of code, but my keen interest in efficient model design and algorithmic data encapsulation fits firmly parallel her own interests (pursuing a PhD in economics). The opinions of the MBAs or the geologists or the lit crits are of relatively little importance to me.

      I guess in a way it's a lot like GNU/Linux. The year of Linux on the desktop isn't here, and may never be here, and it doesn't matter, because I can still use it just fine. Hell, it's better than that because being open source it cannot disappear, and so long as there is a single person who knows a bit of code who likes it, it will see continued development. Do you see the parallel? I may never be a hit at parties given by people that are uninteresting to me, but it doesn't matter, because I love what I do, I do it well, and it's important to society at large, so I'll always be able to do it. I don't feel the need to be 'cool' and accrue superficial connections with people that I won't learn anything from and whom won't learn anything from me, simply because we're headed in different directions.

      What I'm saying is 'cool' means 'form instead of function', and I suppose in that sense, yes, Apple has made programmers 'cool.'

    • by FyRE666 (263011) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:11AM (#38083534) Homepage

      It hasn't made programming cool, it has made some of the jobs based around programming appear cooler. If someone asks what you do and you reply that you're a cobol programmer woring for a mortgage company, it's hardly likely to make you seem like the coolest guy in the room. However, if you mention that you write apps for phones, or Facebook, or write games then it's likely to seem more interesting. People can relate to it as they will be using the devices and services you help create content for.

      There's also a crossover now, with people who put together a Powerpoint presentation, or mark up an HTML page considering themselves programmers.

      • Re:No, they haven't (Score:5, Interesting)

        by xaxa (988988) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:35AM (#38083648)

        If someone asks what you do and you reply that you're a cobol programmer woring for a mortgage company, it's hardly likely to make you seem like the coolest guy in the room.

        It might make you cooler than the salesman for the mortgage company. Some guys I met at a music festival who worked for a mortgage company told me my job was much cooler. I work for a museum, and after the usual "but why would a museum need a computer programmer?" response, it's easy enough to explain something to anyone, no matter what their education/job/age. Also, they've probably heard of the museum, which helps.

        I reckon the scientists who work here have "cooler" jobs though, which are more interesting to talk about at parties.

    • by dokc (1562391) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:16AM (#38083548) Journal

      One of the reasons is also that geeks in general don't understand good manners. They view down to people with other interests (how many times have you read here on Slashdot some rants about how stupid people are because they don't know everything about computers), go on and on about their own interests (computers, programming, RPG games..) without even thinking if the other side is interested to talk about that. Geeks cannot grasp the concept of being and acting friendly to other people. It doesn't make only you feel awkward - it makes the other side feel awkward too.

      Well, if I need to talk about trash TV program, super cool new MTV stars, shoes and other brain-dead things then I really do not want to be friendly to other people. Is it too much too expect from others to switch on their brains and talk sometimes about some really important things (science, philosophy, history,...,meaning of life)?!
      The "non-geeks" cannot grasp the concept of thinking so they are acting unfriendly to "geeks", so you must defend yourself.

    • by sdk4777 (1013597) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:20AM (#38083580)
      Programmers made Apple cool.
    • by StripedCow (776465) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:26AM (#38083620)

      And the silly thing is, most of those disdainful programmers don't know anything about solid state physics, the fundamental discipline that gives them the ability to run their programs in the first place. In other words, if you keep behaving like a nerd, you will still be considered a dweeb by others. Disclaimer: I don't know much about the subject, either.

      • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:56AM (#38084398)

        And the silly thing is, most of those disdainful programmers don't know anything about solid state physics, the fundamental discipline that gives them the ability to run their programs in the first place. In other words, if you keep behaving like a nerd, you will still be considered a dweeb by others. Disclaimer: I don't know much about the subject, either.

        I program on a loom, you insensitive clod!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:29AM (#38083632)

      One of the reasons is also that non-geeks in general don't understand good manners. They view down to people with other interests (how many times have you heard some rants about how stupid people are because they don't know everything about celebrities or sports), go on and on about their own interests (celebrities, sports, fashion ...) without even thinking if the other side is interested to talk about that.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:43AM (#38083680) Homepage

      The only reason for the change is that more socially skilled persons have started using computers at an young age, and continued doing so (and even started programming) while still maintaining their social skills. Don't worry - if you were socially awkward before, you're still as uncool as you even were.

      The computer is the introvert's best friend. With it, you can almost avoid talking to a live person. You buy things online, you don't have to deal with shop staff. Or bank staff in your online bank. And any other self-service solution. With check-in machines, bag drops and ticket scanners you can now go on a flight without talking to anyone, unless you're halted in the security control. At work, you can be a "productive enough to be left alone" worker having as little contact with your boss or colleagues (or rather PHB and cow-orkers) as possible. Or at least limited it to technical work things. At home you can game away pretending to have a life, least your avatar has one. I mean you always had shut-ins but they were also extremely bound by it. Today you can almost be a Sheldon and not clash with society, which used to force you into dealing with other people. If anything it's easier than ever to be a hermit in the middle of the city.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by angel'o'sphere (80593)

      I agree to most of your points but I think you seriously mix up geeks with nerds.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:32AM (#38083880)

      On your claim of non-friendlyness of geeks: That's wrong. It's just that geeks and non-geeks have slightly different notions of what is friendly.

      A typical example, a geek considers it unfriendly to bother other people with a question without first trying to solve it yourself. On the other hand, most non-geeks will consider it unfriendly to ask someone to do some research themselves. Therefore a typical scenario is the following:

      A non-geek asks a geek about some problem, and it is clear from the question that he didn't make an effort to solve it himself.
      Now for the geek that's just unfriendly (friends don't waste friends' time), therefore he asks the non-geek to first do his own research.
      Now the non-geek considers that unfriendly, and getting accused for something he considers normal, he complains about that answer.
      The geek, being accused for suggesting something he considers normal (even fundamental), then complains about the complaint of the other one.
      In the end, both consider each other as violating the most fundamental rules which should be obvious to everyone and then even complains if he is told that.

    • by JoeMerchant (803320) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:03AM (#38084444) Homepage

      Along the way I've met lots of interesting people (and especially girls) who I've all told to that I do programming for a living and it's also how I can travel around the world and live on the road. If anything, that has made people interested. And I really don't myself as an uncool guy, nor do all the women I've met along.

      During my world travels (1989-90), I met a guy in his 50s who worked for SwissAir (turbine mechanic was about as nerdy as it got in 1960 when he started), he was buying me beers at a bar across from the Zurich train station while I waited for my train and sobbing his woes to me - mostly how he had never met a woman he could have a real relationship with. Sure, lots of women while traveling, that's easy, but to stick with one for more than a few weeks at a time is a lot more challenging.

      When you travel, you are "promoted" in attractiveness since you are exotic, people also cut you a break for some of the slightly "off" things you might do because you are not from around there, this, of course, varies from place to place (e.g. native Parisians will openly dis you for being an outsider, doubly so if you have managed to fool them for a little while that you might be "one of them." Fear not, there are plenty of other "outsiders" in Paris who will treat you well, and even the natives start coming around if you are willing to pay $30 and up for a meal.)

      I think nerds, in general, suffer from the "uncanny valley" syndrome - similar enough to normal behavior to creep people out when they perceive the differences. Since the explosion in television channels, and programming, there have been a lot more popular shows depicting all kinds of "fringe" behavior, which is certainly an easier way for "normal" people to start to learn and possibly accept accept some of the differences. A 60 minute weekly TV show is certainly less threatening than taking a trip to a Star Trek convention, or "the Big Nerd Ranch."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:34AM (#38083374)

    I was cool way before Apple.

  • by Jack Malmostoso (899729) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:36AM (#38083384)

    Seriously? Is that a word now?

    • Re:Appillionaires? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:44AM (#38083424)

      I have a feeling the author of the article made it up. There's a link in the article to a book on Amazon by the title of Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store which just happens to be by the author of the article. How about that. A total coincidence.

      • Re:Appillionaires? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by phonewebcam (446772) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:19AM (#38083572) Homepage

        Ahem. Apple doesn't have the App Store. It has an App Store. And that's official. They lost their case precisely over this against ... Amazon [v3.co.uk] :-)

      • Re:Appillionaires? (Score:5, Informative)

        by rta (559125) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:36AM (#38083650)

        if you look carefully you'll note TFA says explicitly:

        "Chris Stevens used to write reviews and make funny videos for CNET UK. He left to start an app company, Atomic Antelope, which made the smash-hit Alice for the iPad apps. Now he's written a book about the app development scene, Appillionaires. This is an exclusive extract."

        So this is just self-serving masturbatory ego-stroking hipster scenester BS. Of course Angry Birds is right up there w/ penicillin in importance. No one had EVER written a mobile game before it's hard to even imagine society before it. sheesh.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by gl4ss (559668)

        I have a feeling the author of the article made it up. There's a link in the article to a book on Amazon by the title of Appillionaires: Secrets from Developers Who Struck It Rich on the App Store which just happens to be by the author of the article. How about that. A total coincidence.

        mod up. explains the articles existence _totally_. make up a word, make up a book, make up hype and hope some bozos buy the book to learn how to strike rich with soundboards.

    • by JAlexoi (1085785)
      Yep, people that made a million apps. And all of them soundoards and other shit.
  • Damn! (Score:5, Funny)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:38AM (#38083398)

    It's now suddenly cool to code.

    I'm a CS professor, you insensitive clod!

  • Ugh (Score:5, Informative)

    by the linux geek (799780) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:40AM (#38083408)
    The first paragraph of that article was one of the stupidest things I've ever read.
  • by jordan314 (1052648) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:42AM (#38083420)
    "Mention to someone that you make apps and their interest will pick up instantly." ...Because they have a "million dollar app idea" and they want you to design, program, test, and release it for them, and then they'll give you a cut.
    • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:47AM (#38083694) Homepage Journal

      If they really do have a million dollar idea and you can get by without pay, getting paid in equity is the best way to get rich.

      But if their idea is so valuable, why do they need to find business partners on craigslist?

    • by Monoman (8745)

      This is more likely the truth.

      The way I see it so far is that Apple is winning in the portable device market but has yet to make any break into the personal computer market share significantly. Lots of iPods, iPhones and iPads are selling but not their computers in comparison. Apple's strategy seems to be to shift the home/personal market away from the need for personal computers all together and get the consumers to only need "i" devices. This shift may have a significant impact on who will be the next

      • The popularity of Mac desktop hardware varies dramatically by region. Hardly anyone uses macs in Atlantic Canada but they are everywhere in British Columbia as well as where I live now in Washington state.

        iOS devices are totally useless without a destop computer. My brand new iPad wouldn't even boot the first time I tried to use it until I plugged it into a computer with an Internet connection. That really sucked as the place I was staying at did not have reliable Internet.

        iOS devices sync themselves with

        • by Trolan (42526)

          iOS5 detaches the computer requirement entirely. You setup/activate without iTunes and can sync with iCloud.

    • by geminidomino (614729) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:34AM (#38083890) Journal

      Because they have a "million dollar app idea" and they want you to design, program, test, and release it for them, and then they'll give you a cut.

      I've had that conversation. And yet, every time it always seems to include the words "like Angry Birds*, but..."

      Ask them what their million dollar idea offers that the original doesn't? Blank stare.

      *Or some other uber-popular, well-entrenched bit of pap.

      • by asylumx (881307)
        My wife and I had an idea for an app. I'm not going to go into details on what it would do, but we just saw a commercial for Window 7 yesterday on TV and they were demonstrating an app that did almost exactly what our app would have done, although probably much better because they have thousands of programmers to throw at it.

        So, I guess Windows 7 was my idea?

        Anyway, we never wrote the app or attempted to patent the idea, so I'm not actually whining that Microsoft stole my idea -- since I never talked
  • would waste valuvable coding time by going to a par . . . ty? Am I saying that correctly?
  • on the contrary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hazel Bergeron (2015538) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:46AM (#38083430) Journal

    Apple has made "programmers" more likely to be nothing more than businessmen who have read a few coding books.

    Headline might as well me "Prostitution makes partners sexy".

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:47AM (#38083438) Homepage Journal

    meh, must be like the 23423th geeks are cool story I've read - in 20 years or so.
    I'm cool like a fool in a swimming pool anyhow, fucking ridiculous to say that apple did it though.

    "mention someone that you make apps" and be sure that they'll bitch for work, you to work for them, or they'll ask for money or drugs.

    • by markkezner (1209776) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:27AM (#38084604)

      In my experience, if you tell them you make apps they'll glaze right over and start making assumptions about you. It rarely goes over very well, you can actually see the boredom grow in their face. If you're (un)lucky they'll ask you to fix their computer.

      At this point in my life I would rather joke around and tell people some made up job, like that I'm a mattress quality control tester or that I carve names into gravestones. It makes for better conversation.

  • hackers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nicholas22 (1945330) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @05:47AM (#38083440)
    It was the 1960's hackers in MIT that made programming cool.
  • Left alone (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:00AM (#38083494)

    Once upon a time I just had to say I was computer programmer at parties, and I would be happily left alone. Now I have to say i'm a climate change skeptic. Times change.

  • Money = Sexy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohlrabi82 (1672654) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:01AM (#38083496)
    I get it, when you sit in your basement hacking away at code potentially benefiting many people for free you are a socially unacceptable geek. As soon as you put together some graphics and make money from thousands of people you are the sex icon of the new computer era. It's not that perception has changed, but rather the contrary. Money and status derived from money is valued more than the work itself.
  • Wishful thinking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ablaze (222561) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:02AM (#38083502) Journal
    When it comes to the social sphere, it will always be much cooler to drink the beer, and not to brew it.
  • by Required Snark (1702878) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:08AM (#38083518)
    I used to work in visual effects, and it was cool.

    Now that I have gotten away from that world, I don't want to be cool. It gets in the way too much.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:13AM (#38083540) Homepage Journal

    Slashdot has some manner of JavaScript that's meant to make the site work better on mobile devices, but it's totally borked on mi ios4.3.5 iPhone 4 and 3.2.2 iPad.

    I typed out a post, previewed it, attempted to check a link but was taken to slashdot's homepage instead. After that I found that my post had disappeared into the ether.

    It won't take long to reenter it from my MacBook pro after I superglue the shattered remnants of my iPhone back together.

    In any case, the people who see me working on my iOS app, or those who I show it to, do think I'm pretty cool. "want to see my iPhone app?" is a great way to strike up conversations with complete strangers. Whenever I see someone with an iOS device I ask them to beta test it. Even if they're not up for that they are interested to discuss it.

    I imagine lots of these people think I'm wealthy because I code for iPhones but in reality I'm totally busted because I go without paying work as much as I possibly can so I can focus on my own product.

  • Cool? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aaaaaaargh! (1150173) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:19AM (#38083578)

    Having had my fair share of "cool" nightlife for many years in a major European city that is very popular everywhere in the world, I can hereby attest that people who think of themselves as being "cool" tend to be morons.

    Here is a little anecdote. While I was slacking around not finishing my studies I've once met a mathematician who was working on the mathematics of string theory and told me he was for many years getting up every morning at 8 o'clock, had a cup of tea (not coffee...bad for concentration), learned math the whole day long, and didn't have any social life (bad for concentration). He was incredibly smart but also really happy to finally have a beer with someone. I wouldn't say he was cool then. However, I'm pretty sure he is cool in another sense now, because he likely does something really interesting nowadays--something that halfway mature people will probably find "cool" although they cannot understand it.

    So basically, what I want to say is: forget about the instant gratification of "coolness" and do what really interests you.

    (Well, to be honest I never checked what this guy is doing now, so he could also just have become a cab driver.... hehhehe)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:24AM (#38083606)

    I'm a programmer, so that they just leave me alone. I say I write in Perl to those who persist, and they go away too.

    If I needed attention so badly, I'd say I clean toilets, or am a funeral parlor, or kill for hire, or all at once.

    • by jimshatt (1002452)
      I write Perl programs to kill funeral parlors on clean toilets. It's kind of a niche market...
  • by Tridus (79566) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:39AM (#38083662) Homepage

    And that's saying something. This is utter shit.

    Programming stopped being something relegated to socially awkward types that nobody likes at least a decade ago, and really even longer then that. It was cool a long time ago. Then it wasn't.

    You know what's happened now? Very little. When people use your stuff, they tend to be more interested in you. That's ALWAYS been true. Oh, and being loaded also helps, because money is sexy.

    All they've done with this article is take a stereotype that wasn't true before, and said "hey, somehow Apple fixed it years before the product that fixed it existed! Aren't they awesome!?"

    No. The only thing demonstrated here is how uncool and out of touch Slashdot is.

  • Disagree. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Halster (34667) <haldouglas@@@gmail...com> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:41AM (#38083670) Homepage

    Sorry but I just don't buy it. Social acceptance is likely to only be on the surface, scratch the surface and that person at the party will show the same interest as if you said you worked as a Customer Experience Enhancement Consultant. Keep talking and the look of interest will have moved to disinterest, then beyond that, to the look of someone who's just had a healthy whiff of chlorophyll.

    The fact of the matter is, (some) apps are cool, but coding for a living isn't. Sure, some app developers have become rich, but most don't. Unless you've got more money than a small country noone will care beyond polite acknowledgement (and even then, maybe not, I imagine Bill Gates' money didn't make him any more interesting).

    The upside is, chances are the other party goers jobs are probably some sort of administrative role or a traditional profession that isn't at all exciting. You won't care what they do either, because most people's jobs are boring. Not everyone can be, or wants to be a Frog Shaker.

  • by binarstu (720435) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @06:58AM (#38083726)
    The article gets started by claiming that, because of the App Store, programming "is now one of the most stylish and dramatically lucrative jobs in the world." The author's evidence? The "the two cousins who made Angry Birds" and "the brothers who made Doodle Jump". Right. There were no outlier cases of a few lucky people getting ridiculously rich off of software until Apple came along with their App Store.

    The rest of the article goes more or less downhill from there. No real evidence for anything, just a few anecdotes, lots of baseless speculation, and unfettered fawning over Apple.

    I could accept this if it were categorized in the "humor" section.
  • Let's find a way to make this attributable to Apple, because all the apple-owners will then read it to reinforce how *they've* made a difference!

    In other words, another slow day at Cnet - what bothers me more is that Slashdot takes this sort of speculation and repeats it as 'news' - which is a bit worrying on a site that has a motto of 'stuff that matters'.

  • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:15AM (#38083802) Homepage

    Journalist - specifically columnists - live in a social media bubble, mostly interacting with other columnists, PR bunnies, socialites and assorted wasters and parasites, among whom iProducts are essentially de rigour. Daaaahling, surely you're not still using that palaeolithic iPhone 3, one might as well just bash two rocks against one's head until one is tempted to vote Republican. (snorts of laughter, clink of glasses)

    Among their social whirl, I'm sure that iApp iDevelopers are like adorable little nerd godlings, but I don't think we can generalise from that to the real world.

  • by Chrisq (894406) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @07:16AM (#38083808)
    Millionaires are cool nomatter what they do. I saw a program where the averagely attractive (being generous) easyjet entrepreneur Stelios Haji-Ioannou was discussing [wikipedia.org] really boring things like margins, volumes, etc. with his business manager in an airport lounge when a lot of young and attractive females came to get his signature - because he is an unmarried billionaire! I am pretty sure that a convenience store manager holding a similar conversation would have been ignored.
  • by oji-sama (1151023) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @08:55AM (#38084390)
    Wait, I can finally tell my mother?
  • It's Cyclical (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Thursday November 17, 2011 @09:20AM (#38084558)

    Being a programmer was cool back during the Dot-Com days too. Everyone assumed you were about to become another instant millionaire. Then Buy.com, I believe it was, imploded and set off the chain reaction that left a lot of those "cool" programmers unemployed and decidedly uncool for a long time afterward. The Pollyanna lesson I would usually leap to draw from that is to do what you love no matter how "cool" others think it is.

    But now watching the 1% the obvious answer in America is, duh, to remember to bribe as many Congressmen as you can while the going is good to make sure you get bailed out when the bubble bursts so you can immediately reinflate the bubble using Chinese money and the sweet, sweet vapor given off by the combustion of the hopes and dreams of millions of future Americans and a country that might have been all the while getting even more fabulously rich than before. Rinse, repeat.

  • by geekoid (135745) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {dnaltropnidad}> on Thursday November 17, 2011 @12:09PM (#38086588) Homepage Journal

    but they will take credit for it.

FORTRAN is for pipe stress freaks and crystallography weenies.

Working...