I never want to be a “corporate developer”

During a JavaOne session today, Linda DeMichiel, Sun's EJB specification lead, said the EJB 3.0 experts group wants to make writing EJBs easier so that even "corporate developers" could write EJBs.

Yesterday, I heard a Sun person say one of the goals of Java Studio Creator is to allow "corporate developers" to write Java web applications.

Do corporations just hire less-skilled developers? Or does something happen to a developer when he or she joins a big corporation?

Update: Since my attempt at irony didn't come across after three hours of sleep, I want to point out that corporate developer is an unfair term when what is meant is lesser-skilled developer.

4 thoughts on “I never want to be a “corporate developer”

  1. Having been a ‘corporate developer/manager’ for the last 10+ years I would like to translate the corporate speak.
    corporations care about productivity,solutions and budgets. While VB developers are a much maligned lot, they have developed solutions quickly and cheaply over the years. Most departmental level solutions don’t need a Websphere/Weblogic based solution which need to scale upto 1000 users or need to be up 24/7. Most departments have a limited budget and are under huge pressure to deliver.
    Corporate managers are paying for solutions and don’t care too much about ‘OO or real programmers or design patterns or SOA or ‘. Here’s a scenario that a typical manager would face while developing a solution.
    With a $50k budget to develop a departmental solution
    1. hire some ‘developers who don’t know OO’ @20$/hr and put across a solution that works .
    2. Get a real programmer @ 50$/hr with a 10k+ weblogic license and about 6 months to develop the ejb’s for features he dosen’t need.
    Managers are also pretty uncomfortable with something they can’t pay for (Open source). here’s the thought process. If my oracle db goes down, I can get someone from Oracle in double quick time (It costs money but that’s worth it). or if there’s a problem with WinNt/Solaris I can always rely on MSFT to give me support. All these support contracts are primarily insurance.
    EJB’s have certainly cut developer productivity a lot. To give you some examples from my recent projects.
    1. I cannot meaningfully debug my EJB app from within an IDE. While real programmers may snicker at this practice and say real programmers use printf or tests, corporate programmers prefer to go home at 6:00 pm not 3:00 am like real programmers. I know it’s possible to debug but it is usually horribly slow.
    2. Hot replacement of classes simply dosen’t work. the cycle team to redploy my project on jboss and restart was 6 mins (Weblogic was 10 mins) + 5 mins for a full compile.
    Sun had a free run with Java till .Net came out. While .Net has not made huge inroads the Java Studio creator et al are Sun’s response to .Net.
    The key thing to remember is that for corporations technology is a tool and they don’t get religious or over zealous about technology. It’s a means and not the end itself. (unlike many technical guys). And they treat technology just like we treat our purchases. They will go with what is faster, better and cheaper.
    Cheers
    Ravi

  2. Come on Ravi, get a life. Do you think anyone is going to read your long comment? Get a blog so everyone can ignore it! 🙂
    I’m a corporate developer and I’m proud of it. I know I can program my way around Linda DeFluery.

  3. Ravi, thank you for your comment. From my take on hearing people use the term “corporate developer,” it sounds like a euphamism for “lesser-skilled developer.” As such, it’s unfair to corporate developers.

  4. Ravi, the first thought came to me when Tom mentioned “corporate developers”, I thought he means the “real programmer” in your post:-). EJB is a hoax, the biggest ever in 21st century as claimed by someone.

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