If something happens to you over and over again and you never say anything then it will continue to happen. Although I’m sure I’ll catch flack for this because the industry I’m about to discuss seems more defensive than some. It could be simply because the profession lives online where trolls live. Or, it could be that only I think this. And, I could be 100% in the wrong. But, humor me for a moment while I discuss why developers (focusing mainly on the ones I encounter which are website coders) are mean.

Since 2005 as a hobby, I’ve spent time messing around with website code. It’s really enjoyable, whether I do it correctly or not, to type in letters/words/symbols, save, and load a website to see what I changed or added and the affect it has. It’s an interactive puzzle.

Also since 2005, I’ve encountered more borderline or outright rude comments when talking to developers (devs) than pleasant conversations. So, I’ve gotten to the point where I admittedly go straight to blocking, leaving, or even (unfortunately) arguing as soon as I detect rudeness. If you encounter something like this for almost 20 years it’s going to affect you.

Now, it’s not only developers it’s any passionate and opinionated industry. So, as I type this out I realize that what I’m talking about goes for anyone. For example, I write and record songs and I know musicians are just as opinionated and rude at times simply because what I share may not be perfect. Or the right way in their opinion.

One issue might simply be that I like nice outcomes, but I don’t need perfect. Someone who is only a musician, or only a developer, they have time for perfection and opinions. I’m not only a musician, or only a developer. I love all kinds of creative things. I’m a true creator of many things, master of none. That’s not a negative to me personally. I just love doing a lot of things but that means there isn’t time to become a master/expert in everything.

Because I learn just enough to create what I need, you might be able to imagine that when I ask devs something, or show them code, sometimes they are quick to jump straight to comments like:

  • “Holy poo batman! ARE YOU SERIOUS!? Your code is atrocious!”
  • “Pull that code down immediately, you’re gonna get someone killed!”
  • “I hope no one ever uses that.”
  • “You should smack yourself for even asking this.”
  • “Why do you exist? Go.”

I exaggerated a couple of those to inject some humor but over 20 years I’ve gotten similar responses from devs. It’s very tiring. And, one can argue, “get over it,” or other similar thoughts, but I reached my limit long ago. In fact, I try hard not to engage with that community. I prefer to just do my thing and if someone likes something I make great, if not great.

Still, I tend to every now and then extend an olive branch to the dev community and still ask something in a chat or forum. Nine times out of ten, I’ll get at least one questionable response. Questionable as in, at least borderline rude.

Am I too sensitive? Well, the devs I speak of would say, yes. So, maybe I am.

I need to get on with the day so let me wrap this up and say that I really like developers and I have had many nice, fun, and exciting conversations with some of them. But, some of them jump straight to comments that can make someone a little sad. Especially if they spent hours on something.

“What? You spent hours on that! 😂” is a likely reply to that last sentence. But yes, I’m not a classically trained coder. Sometimes something very simple to others can take me hours. So, if that’s the case, and I show what I did to a dev, and they instantly tear it down with nothing positive to say, it hurts. I feel like I wasted hours. Maybe I did. But, society has moved away from niceties and I don’t love it.

I don’t enjoy publicly venting like this but hey, what’s a personal blog if you don’t do a post like this from time to time? 🤗

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Billy Wilcosky