Cowboy

I program computers.  That’s not quite right, I consider myself a “software engineer,” but in layman’s terms, I write software code.  Software is sort of a weird environment, and I say that in all earnestness because for the last 8 years I’ve worked in academia teaching music.  Now that’s a weird environment to start with. But as a programmer, there’s something I’ve noticed at almost every job I go to.   I’m not sure I can nail it down in one sentence, so here’s a few.  There’s always that one guy: the “programmer.”  He might not be the only programmer at the company, but he’s the guy that people look at and say, yeah, he’s a programmer.  He’s the guy who is socially awkward, totally dedicated to computer code, and is convinced that he’s right.  Even if it’s just “technically correct,” he’s got to be right, at all costs.  Even if the cost is a job, a friend, whatever. I’ve been a professional musician since my teacher in undergrad told me I was.  To paraphrase, he said in very firm terms, “You are a professional musician from the day you set foot on campus as a music major, whether you choose to behave like one or not.”  Much like my experiences in programming, there’s always some person in the ensemble who’s “that guy.”  Sometimes we refer to it as “trumpet player syndrome,” but there’s one person who has to be in charge no matter what, has to be “technically correct” at the expense of the ensemble, the piece, whatever. I’m not saying that leadership is bad, and anyone with opinions...