Programming Nazi

In the USA programmers earn more money than average workers. But the difference is not huge. It can be twice as much. Not outrageous. It seems that there is a (wrong) perception in the USA that programming is difficult and hence these eggheads deserve a better pay.

But the situation is different in developing countries where offshore programming is flourishing. The difference between the salaries of a young programmer and a young engineer can be 10 fold: $300 vs. $3000 a month. While it’s great that at least some people can earn decent money, I see some negative side effects. Some of these young well-off professionals are starting to believe that they belong to a higher caste, and regular people who didn’t learn programming are losers.

This is is not something I came up with out of the blue. I’m following the blogosphere in some of such offshore countries, and people openly make these statements. Here’s a comment that I’ve received to one of my blogs:

“People who work in the supermarkets are not capable of anything else. Only inadequate people can work there for a long time. A decent person will not keep this low paid job – he’ll find a way to earn more doing something else. Instead of working for pennies in supermarkets they can learn programming and make a decent living”.

In another article a programmer asks,”Please share your experience in finding love? Is it easy for you to pick up girls because of your high salary?”

IMO, this kind of mentality is really bad. You have to respect people even if they don’t know how to program computers.

There are lots of great people who like working in a supermarket or a post office. They will never become programmers and don’t have to be! Ideally, people should do the work they like. It may not be easy, but during a day a person can work at a cash register, and in the evening play violin in the philharmonic orchestra.

I realize, that the labor in the USA is more expensive than in most of the developing countries, and a cashier can make a living just by keeping one job. But considering yourself creme de la creme of society just because you know how to write if-statements is not only wrong, but dangerous. Being any nazi is dangerous both for a society and for the nazi.

12 thoughts on “Programming Nazi

  1. You can make a living as a cashier here in the U.S., but it’s probably going to be around the $20,000 per year level, which is pretty much at the official poverty line. It’s not something anyone aspires to.

      1. This is nothing to do with respect, this is objective reality. If you work as a cashier – you are looser. Only exception, if you like your work. But most people don’t like their work, they just need money and/or society force you to find some work. People who work as software developers, and don’t like their work, are also looser (like me), but less, at least they have more money, and their work are more creative and intellectual.
        And when we talk about ‘higher caste’ its not really about money or success, but about if its creative and intellectual work or not.
        And sometimes you can even find dumb (you can learn pattern names, and how to type instructions, but still suck at analyzing new problems and solutions, and etc) and evil people among software developers with high salary!
        And nothing personal, this is nature, some people are less smart then me, some people are more smart. Some people are more skilled in something, some people are good, some people are bad and evil.
        I can respect people because they fair and good, and i will say no bad word to them and will not show any disrespect, but still, if they are less smart then me or some other people, i will think about them as they are, am i bad person, or stupid because of this?
        This is not about work and salary, its about correlation between profession and who people are. People of any more intellectual and creative profession usually more smarter, but again, there is exceptions.

        Hail computers!

      2. I have seen cashier that consider their job as OK: no additional time for learn, no headache, no overtimes, no changes, no eyes’ pains…
        Their job isn’t for everybody und our job isn’t for everybody.

    1. Agree, there are people who live abroad and behave like douches to their ex-compatriots just because the have an Australian residentship/US citizenship/you name it. I try to eliminate such a behavior pattern from myself.

    2. if && you.salary > ukrainian_cashier.salary * 10, ‘stupid’)
      if && && you.salary > ukrainian_developer.salary * 10, ‘nazi’)

  2. But, if this level of salaries presents in the market and does not require strong experience, why is it bad to use this opportunity? If you learned some if-else statements, some framework and then realized that it is enough to pass interview on job with ~ 2500$, so it looks like ok for employeer then. But, I agree that, it will have fininished soon.

    1. There is absolutely nothing wrong with making a quick buck while this situation lasts. My blog is about respecting other people who can’t use this opportunity for whatever reasons.

  3. Yakov, your opinion is based on the incorrect assumption from the start: ” who didn’t learn programming are losers”. Developing countries are not America, and the “loser” word means almost nothing here.
    Being computer programmer is paid well, yes, but ONLY for the recent 6-7 years, and before this, the computer programmers were poor fanatics, earning less than a construction worker.
    Being programmer today in a developing world is a mix of luck and well spent efforts. Yes, there’s no reason to think the programmers are “high caste”, but…
    Those “supermarket people” – I know many people of this sort, they don’t want to do anything to improve their living. I was trying to help one my friend to get a job in a high-paying IT company, but what I experienced was his RESISTANCE – he didn’t want to change anything, he didn’t want to try, he didn’t want to put any effort in it, while it was absolutely no-risk to him. He was getting a wellfare for about a year, and then he found a low-pay job closer to what he had before.
    Here comes the conclusion: People improve themselves ONLY if they WANT to improve themselves.
    And all the fat Americans are a bright demonstration of this rule.
    Should we respect them?
    Maybe, in a sense of freedom-of-choice.
    But if we want to give a good example to our children – then NEVER.
    Just imagine, if your daughter will ask you – “Do you respect that drunk person sleeping in a dirt like a pig?”, what will be your answer?🙂

  4. High salaries are not a big deal. There are always higher around, by the way – developers just cannot earn too much because eventually they sell their time and time is a limited resource.

    Just as big money is known to spoil people, not so big higher-than-average salaries spoil devs in Outer Rim countries.

  5. All that you said about salaries is completly true for Russia, where for example engineers can find 500-700 $ salary, while can find 3000-4000$ and more. But I see a different point here – not that programmers are paid too much, but the rest – too little. IMO progs got higher salaries, because they are not connected to thier place of living or production or even thier country (because it is essential to know english for them). So whenever thier boss trying to make something stupid (like lowering salary) they can find another job fast and for sure. That keeps thier salaries high. Which is not happen with other ordinary jobs.

    P.S. It is funny to see that most of people forgot the true meaning of “National Socialism” already, and use they word “nazi” as “I don`t know anything about it,but it must be all about germans with flamethrowers and gaschambers and shit, wiping nations on thier way, something scary”. The thing that you described in a post is called “snobbery”. You are welcome.

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