Why Programmers don’t have a High Social Status

Up to date there is No single street name for a top programmer or computer scientist in any of the Top 20 most developed countries in the world during the last 60 years.

There is no statue built in the center of a major city for a renown programmer or computer scientists.

No “Presidential Medal” or “Congressional Gold Medal” has been awarded to a computer scientists or programmer.

There is no nationally televised social reward ceremony for computer programmers and scientists like there is for artists, football or basketball players, etc.

There is no red carpet and Nobel price award ceremony-like for their achievements, and contribution to the progress of humanity.

Even when their work makes the whole world singing praises, they only fill the back seats glancing at other junkies making the speeches and grabbing the awards.

The only exception I found is about the English computer scientist Alan Turing who is considered to father of computer science.

Turing has been honored in various ways: a bridge and a street were named “Alan Turing Way”. A statue of Turing was unveiled in Manchester on 23 June 2001. And, since 1966, the Turing Award has been given annually by the Association for Computing Machinery to a person for technical contributions to the computing community.

The Turing Award is widely considered to be the computing world’s highest honour, equivalent to the Nobel Prize.

The most  known accomplishment of Turin outside of computer scientists circles is his contribution to Breaking the Code of German naval Enigma system during the second world war.

He is regarded as one of the main contributors (behind the scene) to the Allies victory in 1945 against the Nazis.

Another exception, once again from the United Kingdom, is about Tim Berners-Lee, considered as the Inventor of the World Wide Web, who received numerous recognition around the world, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, in 2004.

Despite what precedes, overall most programmers and computer scientists are less paid than sales people, MBA types, Designers, Doctors, etc. and it’s not easy for them to get laid on the first date. They are not artists, musicians, designers, architects, football players … Definitely they are not at the top of the sexual food chain.

Time magazine has been doing a great job naming up to 4 computers geeks “Person of the year” during the last 85 years: the The Computer in 1982,  Andrew Grove in 1997, Jeffrey P. Bezos in 1999, Mark Zuckerberg in 2010.

However, it remains a long way to go before the celebration of computers geeks enters into the realm of everyday life, schools, streets, marketplaces, medias, etc.

So, it comes to me to wonder why programmers and computer scientists are not so highly regarded and rewarded accordingly? When I look around me, I wonder how the world will be without these nerds? From the iPhone, to your latest Gadget , none of these things will ever be possible without an army of these hard working folks.

Here is another annoying fact.
On October 8, 2011, Dennis Ritchie, the Inventor of C and Developer of UNIX died, almost at the same date as Steve Jobs (October 5, 2011). Ritchie’s death went completely unnoticed, and was only reported by few news portals, geeks’ blogs and forums. The President of the United States, the top national politicians, the top business executives, all news medias lavishly reported about Steve Jobs’s death, and spent countless hours of talk shows and magazine articles on his life, achievements, and legacy. But nothing similar for Dennis Ritchie.

My question here is “Are Dennis Ritchie achievements less than Steve Jobs’s achievements? Did Steve jobs achievements brought more change in more people life than Dennis Ritchie achievements?” If the answer is No, Damn how do you explain the situation!?

Now, from all the previous observations and questions, I went on to investigate, and some of my discoveries shocked me a lot, but also amused me immensely.

First discovery: Programmers have the fate they deserve. Their self esteem and self value is too low.

This manifests itself by a very singular phenomena: programmers hate each other. They usually bash other programmers when talking to non-programmers. Give the work a programmer to another programmer, and most of the time the comment will be negative about the work and the programmer.

Artists don’t do that.
Sales people don’t do that.
MBA types don’t do that.
Politicians do that only for joking to have votes.
Most of other prestigious professions support each other publicly, even when they are in competition (Look at lawyers for examples – Please, don’t ask me why these bastards rule America).
In few words, all above professions have a bigger sense of community, and are proud to be who they are and proud of what they are doing.

The crab mentality should Stop!

Rumor has it, if you put several crabs into a bucket, and if one of them begins to crawl out, one or more of the other crabs will put it back down and prevent it’s escape. It’s called Crab Mentality. This is a good metaphor for life

Second discovery: Most people hate programmers.
Sales people hate programmers.
MBA Types hates programmers.
Designers hate programmers.
Programmers hate programmers.
Joe the plumber hates programmers.
Girls hate programmers.

Why? I don’t know. I found a lot of speculations here and here 

We need to have less haters :)

Third discovery: Programmers are not looking for these vanity titles, sexy ceremonies and awards, they hate the spotlight.

A Programmer wants to program. He want to be left alone to program. Programming is his mission, and the politics, the glories, public speeches are not interesting to him. He hates people who are not as smart as him, and hates more all the people who don’t understand the holy mission of programming with C++.
He then slowly convinces himself that he is born introvert, so he is afraid to go out, talk on the phone, go to the bar, meet politicians and strangers, all things that are in fact necessary to build up his social network and status.

Let have a dream from today. 

1. Nerds deserve the Presidential Medals, the Congressional Medals or any kind of high level rewards that distinguish high achievement and contribution to society.

2. I’m a programmer, other programmers are friends, not enemies, therefore I swear I won’t talk them down in front of non-programmers. Repeat after me!

3. Programmers are brave and smart, but also funny people. “Introversion is not in the DNA, so I’m not born introvert, I can choose my attitudes and social masks at anytime” Repeat after me!

4. Complete the list … if necessary

Now is the best time ever in history for geeks. I love programing and I love programmers. It’s full employment period for geeks while the other guys have to beg for job :) ) hahaha … the Revenge of the Nerds :) )

mm

About Mawuna KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at mk@linkcrafter.com.

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