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Alan is what they call passionate about technology and software development. In his time he's done consulting, worked for large corporates, done product development, been part of an R&D/labs team and even done the startup thing. He's work in small teams and large, using methodologies that were Agile and no-so-Agile. You can always read his latest thoughts on his blog - skorks.com and he even puts in the occassional appearance on Twitter as @skorks. Alan is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 6 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

How To Be A Real Elite Programmer And Make Sure Everybody Knows It

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A classic post from Alan Skorkin. Reminds me of some of the points brought up by in the 501 Developer Manifesto.  --Curator's note


  1. Elite

    Real elite programmers can't have distractions like kids and spouses in their life. Cut your family out of your life to maximize coding time. While you're there cut your friends out as well to maximize coding time even more.
  2. Real elite programmers don't have hobbies that aren't coding. If you still engage in activities that don't involve a computer, this will have to change. If you find yourself burning out, just man-up and push through it.
  3. Real elite programmers do their best work at night. Sleep is for wussies.
  4. Real elite programmers hate their day job. Otherwise they would have nothing to complain about to other real elite programmers.
  5. Real elite programmers eat pizza and drink Dr. Pepper. No other food is allowed, if you have fruit and vegetables in the house, they will have to go – stick to the diet of champions.
  6. Real elite programmers don't read about programming, they DO the programming. Don't bother with books, just keep programming. Remember, you know best, those book-writing wimps are just a bunch of noobs, they should have been coding instead of writing, you're way better than that.
  7. Real elite programmers are always right. This makes sense since everyone else is just a stupid noob.
  8. Real elite programmers already know everything that is worth knowing. All the other knowledge is useless and only noobs would be interested in it.
  9. Real elite programmers do not acknowledge anyone who is not a real elite programmer.
  10. Real elite programmers know when to say "RTFM" in response to a question. This is a good answer to any question – noobs should know better than to ask stupid questions in the first place.
  11. Real elite programmers are on social media. This is allowed, since it involves a computer. It is infact their duty since there are so many people on social media who need to be corrected about all things programming.
  12. Real elite programmers complain loudly about the lack of in-depth programming content on social media. They are however too elite to provide this content.
  13. Real elite programmers know when to say "TL;DR" in response to any in-depth programming content on social media.
  14. Real elite programmers are particularly offended by minor inconsistencies in grammar, punctuation, colour schemes as well as any other subjective stylistic choices.
  15. Real elite programmers never create any code for others to use. They have already told everyone they are awesome; there is no need to prove it.
  16. Real elite programmers know how to put argumentative noobs in their place. Stupid noobs must be told they are stupid and ugly if they have the audacity to question elite wisdom.
  17. Real elite programmers condescend to anyone who is not interested in whatever the real elite programmer is currently interested in.
  18. Real elite programmers particularly despise non-programmers, they are worse than stupid noobs.
  19. Real elite programmers use the most complicated and roundabout techniques to explain simple concepts. All must know how smart the real elite programmer is.

I do hope you realise I am being facetious here. However, there is a grain of truth in every joke. I have seen instances of this type of behaviour and have been guilty of engaging in some of it myself from time to time – you probably have as well. Just something to watch out for.

Published at DZone with permission of Alan Skorkin, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Swathi Venkatachala replied on Thu, 2012/06/07 - 12:46am

Haha :) awesome :)

Peter Manolov replied on Thu, 2012/06/07 - 2:23am

Quote : I do hope you realise I am being facetious here. Elite programmers don't explain themselves. :)

Ryan Sukale replied on Thu, 2012/06/07 - 3:15pm


This was Legen... wait for it...... dary! 

Paul Russel replied on Sun, 2012/06/10 - 9:11am

I disagree with point #14. The elite programmers that I’ve met, who satisfy so many of these requirements, are often atrocious at following even the most basic tenets of color theory and application of design flourishes. Perhaps you should mention the fact that the true elite programmer knows that his text editor of choice is the only one worth using, and that anyone who could stand to use must be no better trained than the average chimpanzee.

Guru Pai replied on Tue, 2012/12/11 - 4:46am

 Good one, A true fact.

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