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My Bill of Rights as a Programmer

2. April 2008 02:53 by Scott in   //  Tags: , ,   //   Comments (14)

I have seen many lists of requirements programmers wish to obtain before they start the job.  I am no different for my company.  I have my own requirements before I start a new job and I wish to create a dynamic list of my rights as a programmer.

  1. Every Programmer shall have a quiet working environment.
    • This is essential in order to think.  If the employer cannot provide a quiet working environment, see Bill of Rights #2.
  2. Every Programmer shall have the right to listen to music.
    • The essential need for a quiet working environment or to be able just throw on music to down out the background noise is essential.  We as programmers work on brain power so therefore we as programmers need to concentrate.
  3. Every Programmer shall have a fast PC.
    • Developers are required to run a lot of software that requires tons of memory and speed to get the job done faster.  The Fast PC only ensures that the programmer is able to research on the Internet while developing code and upgrading the database all at the same time while keeping up on the essential work email.
  4. Every Programmer has their choice of both Keyboard and Mouse.
    • The mouse and keyboard will only allow them to develop faster and become skilled at both shortcut keys and mouse techniques.
  5. Every Programmer shall have a fast Internet connection.
    • This is the mother of them all.  The ability to research faster is required for faster development.
  6. Every Programmer shall have two or more monitors.
    • The research done on having two monitors (here, here, here and here) far outweighs the time spent on only having one.  So even before I get offered a job, one of my first questions is will I have at least two monitors?
  7. Every Programmer shall have a high back comfortable chair.
    • This is another question I ask before going any farther with interviewing.  It not only makes the developer happier, but it helps with poster and is good for the body.
  8. Every programmer shall have access to the right tools.
    • Would you rather develop in FoxPro or Visual Studio?  Would you rather develop on Dreamweaver that Visual Studio for .net Development?  Would you rather use SQL management 2000 or use SQL Management 2005?  IT is a requirement that the company be up to date on software development.
  9. Every programmer shall have the right to have admin access on the PC.
    • There is no need for a programmer to be in restrictions of IT experience because most programmers have more experience with PC's than most IT folks.
  10. Every programmer shall be allowed to attend a developers conference once a year.
    • If companies are willing to pay 60k-100k a year for programmers, they can fork over the other 2k needed for the conference.

All things listed here are the basic needs of a programmer.  They are the movers and shakers that make companies faster with both commerce and day to day operations.  Companies are expected to follow most of the these requirements.  If you are not getting the rights you deserve, ask for more or find another place to work.

kick it on

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Comments (14) -

4/2/2008 9:51:13 AM #

#9 makes me laugh.
You keep believing that code monkey.

4/2/2008 10:13:12 AM #

Well, I know I have admin access on my PC and I work for a Corporation that has extremely tight security due to contracts with the Government.  I guess you just haven't asked for it yet.  Things open up when you ask for them.

4/2/2008 11:33:05 AM #

Jeff Atwood did this two years ago.

Nice to see some fresh additions.

4/2/2008 1:10:20 PM #

Reader's bill of rights #1.

Please spell check and read your post before you foist it on the rest of us.

Jack Keller
Jack Keller
4/2/2008 1:56:24 PM #

I agree with all of these things, in my case it's replace PC with Mac. I work for a small company and as a Graphic Designer/Programmer I am one of the favorite toys to upper management, I have a large working space (with no door) and a poor Mac Mini without the capabilities of dual display. Obviously it's not even close to the right tool for the job but it is what it is. And I have showed this type of information again and again to my superior, which seems to fall on deaf ears. Hopefully others have better success than me!

4/2/2008 1:57:48 PM #

hah.  I will add that to my next post on the readers bill of rights. haha.  I blog on things I can't keep a mental memory of and want to keep up on.  I research a little and then blog about it.  I use Live writer for the writing of the blog and then read over it one or two times.  I know I stink at grammar and spell checking, but thats another reason why I started blogging so I can slowly make my self better at grammar and spelling

4/2/2008 6:28:02 PM #

I agree with  mrsleep about the #9.
Nice list anyway ;)

Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas
4/2/2008 9:39:44 PM #

I agree with Scott on #9.  I'm not really a Google fanboy but I think their unique approach to IT security is the way to go, quotes from article below:

"Mr. Merrill's group lets Google employees download software on their own, choose between several types of computers and operating systems, and use internal software built by the company's engineers"

"The traditional security model is to try to tightly lock down endpoints [like computers and smartphones themselves], and it makes people sleep better at night, but it doesn't actually give them security. We put security into the infrastructure. We have antivirus and antispyware running on people's machines, but we also have those things on our mail server. We have programs in our infrastructure to watch for strange behavior. This means I don't have to worry about the endpoint as much. The traditional security model didn't really work. We had to find a new one"

Link to SlashDot discussion:

4/3/2008 5:35:34 AM #

Thanks Peter, I also enjoy Google's openness to their employees.  I am happy to say I am not locked down as a computer engineer.  I know I would never get some of the programs like Linqpad, CSharp (Conversion tool), Regexbuddy and reflector installed on my machine if I had to get the IT departments permission.  I am happy to say that I do enjoy these amenities and I wouldn't be able to complete things as fast as I do on my job without these tools.  How could we start a movement to companies that would allow us to have less restrictions on the computers we work on?

Peter Thomas
Peter Thomas
4/3/2008 7:39:33 AM #

Same here, I have admin access and all but I know a few others who are tied down.  I have to say though that some of the download restrictions where I work are just ridiculous.  How could we start a movement indeed Smile  This blog post of yours definitely is a start, thanks!

Mr Linux
Mr Linux
12/18/2008 6:22:26 AM #

.NET lol

12/24/2008 8:36:38 PM #

Another one for your list.

Every programmer should have a UNIX/Linux box.

2/26/2009 8:49:34 AM #

Programmers should learn to spell correctly. "Allot"???

4/16/2009 1:31:00 PM #

As JoJo said, "Allot" is correctly spelled "A lot," which is actually correctly spelled "much" or "many."

Other than that, I like it.

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