We just finished binge-watching Breaking Bad - and the number of similarities between certain drugs and software developers is astounding.

The Good

The right kind of developer, given the right problem, will improve your life. Consider a well trained and experienced automation engineer: you point them at tasks you want to eliminate, give them some time, and bam! now 80% of your more tedious tasks have been eliminated. Without being callous or insensitive, this really does sound like well-delivered chemo reducing those tumors that just kept getting worse.

The Bad

The wrong kind of developer (on any problem), could ruin your life. An ill-prepared, if well intentioned, developer might end up doing more harm than good. Maybe they don't notice a memory leak, or maybe they introduce a security vulnerability... the side-effects could be anything from subtle to business threatening. But unlike medicinal side-effects (which can be totally random), you have the chance to improve your programmer skills. Even something as simple as identifying what developer skills you don't have could eliminate 90% of unexpected side-effects.

This analogy gets even more serious if you have an existing allergy (such as a delicate legacy code-base) - and you get exposed to your allergen (such as a junior developer who's never worked on anything pre-dating Python).

The Ugly

Like any high-demand drug, the supply of software developers is usually not enough to meet demand (that's part of the reason we're so expensive). Code Commissions hopes to be your local meth-chef: send us your raw material and we'll deliver a quality product. But in all seriousness, there is a chronic shortage of good software developers - which our online courses aim to fix. We want to help all developers become great, by teaching them everything from source control and code style, to CI and automation.

One final comparison: if you build a dependency on a single drug/developer, you've created a serious risk. We are not advocating that you use multiple/any drugs (good or bad), but we do advocate that you train more than one developer to do a certain task. Avoid that key-man reliance like you would avoid an actual addiction because if they leave for some reason, you're going to suffer withdrawal.

Do you have any other developer-drug comparisons - good or bad, serious or funny? Then leave a comment, because we'd really love to hear them.
Because Code Commissions is still young, we don't have solutions to all your developer problems (from a managerial, or personal-development perspective)... yet. However, we have several courses cooking, so sign up and you'll receive notifications when they start coming out (plus subscriber-exclusive discounts).