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Full-stack

That moment where you’re looking back through your notes to see that you’ve:

  • modelled charge carrier behaviour in semiconductors
  • built a processor from discrete logic components
  • patched kernels
  • patched operating system tools
  • written filesystems
  • written device drivers
  • contributed to a foundation library
  • fixed compiler bugs
  • performance-tuned databases
  • built native apps
  • built web apps
  • tested the above
  • taught other developers
  • mentored other developers
  • sold the above skills

and a thought occurs: someone who knows both PHP and JavaScript is called a full-stack developer.

Someone who tells you that programmers are rational actors who are above marketing is lying. Everything in the field is marketing, including the idea of rationality. Performing such marketing becomes easier when the recipients don’t think it exists, or don’t think they’re the sort of people who would fall for it.

I’m reminded of the audience reaction to this serial entrepreneur describing his recently-acquired startup’s technology (skip to 10:24 if the timestamped URL doesn’t do that automatically for you). He presents these four points:

  • DOS: 1 Analogy Unit
  • Mac + HI Toolbox: 5 Analogy Units
  • DOS + Windows: 7 Analogy Units
  • Mach OS + OpenStep: 20 Analogy Units

Listen to the applause for the unjustified number 20.