The relationship between organizations and IT can be quite dysfunctional, and unfortunately they grew up together thinking poor results and demoralizing interactions are perfectly normal.
Developers tend to learn they have no control over their situation, which is unfortunate because they have so much more to offer an organization than merely following orders and writing code to a specification. Some internalize their status of “code monkey” and even take pride in it.
Organizations want efficiency, but then behave in ways that discourage developers from helping them actually become more efficient, and developers behave in ways that give organizations no reason to even think to ask developers for their input.
At dsmAgile 2018, my presentation “You Are Not a Code Monkey So Stop Acting Like One!” seemed well-received, and I had a number of people come up to me afterward to ask if I had been in their organization recently.
You can download the slides here:
- Open Document Format: NotACodeMonkey-dsmAgile-2018-09-28 (2.3 MB)
- PDF: NotACodeMonkey-dsmAgile-2018-09-28 (874 kb)
Based on conversation I had at the conference, I think I should have focused a bit more on hope for the future and less on itemizing the symptoms and illustrating the problem. My goal was to ask developers and organizations to step up and treat each other as partners, and not to provide ammo for a gripe session. Next time…
What are your thoughts? Do you feel your organization treats you as a partner or as a code monkey?