Starbucks and Programmers

I’m not a Starbucks regular. I go there once in a while. Many years ago, when I went there for the first time and asked for a small cup of coffee, the girl behind the counter said, “So you want a tall coffee?”. Then she explained that tall was the smallest size they had. I’m sure some smart marketing person suggested that calling a cup “tall” is better than “small”. It makes a customer appreciate the value of the purchased product. It’s better to buy something tall than something small for the same amount of money. Devaluation of sizes in action.

When I receive a resume from a 23-year old senior software developer from overseas, I think of that tall cup at Starbucks. They want me to appreciate the deal – I’ll be getting not just a software developer, but a senior one for the same price. Being still in the Thanksgiving state of mind, I’m thankful that the USA is better in this regard too. I can’t recall seeing any American college graduate calling himself a senior software developer, and rightly so. Even if a 23-year old has a BS in Computer Science from MIT or Stanford, he’s are not a senior software developer. He has better chances to become one than a graduate of a local community college, that’s for sure. But let’s not confuse the ability to produce 20 if-statements per minute with being a well rounded software developer with 5 years of the real-world experience.

Every time when I visit Starbucks I ask for a small coffee pretending that I don’t know that it’s called tall. For some reason I feel better this way. OK, gotta run. Let me put on my Hugo Boss jacket of the XL size and go to work. Well, I’m not really that big, but XL is makes me feel a large man. What’s your size?


4 thoughts on “Starbucks and Programmers

  1. You know what, it somehow reminds me fraction’s reduction. If you have something in the denominator, and the same in divisor, you can just do reduction and then easily tell the actual difference between them.

    Same here. Something like “OK, you know subversion (or any other SCM), or, well, you think you know it, you know about bugtrackers, you know a handful of algorithms, you know something about Linux (I almost see Linus rolling on the floor and laughing when you say that), you know how to setup mysql, apache and do some stuff with it, so you are senior web developer. Now, fraction’s reduction. That all is a basic stuff which frankly any web developer should know. So, now, why are you senior?”

  2. know people who programs from 15-16 years old. And they already have their own projects. So this description is very inaccurate. Looks like you are angry at the market. And of course writing if statements per minute is definition of senior developer. b*** please 😀

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