It's time to ditch Medium for good! 🌈⚡️

Introducing Devblog by Hashnode. Blog on your domain for FREE. Highly customizable and optimized for developers.

Learn more

What do non-programmers do that annoy you?

Write your answer…

16 answers

Ok these two are my biggest:

  1. People who say they want to get into programming but they don't want to put forth the effort. I don't know how it is for your area, but I live here in Southern California in the USA and I am around age 30 and there are a lot of guys and gals around this age who are either looking for a career switch or they are trying to be entrepreneurs and they basically act super interested in coding but when it comes time to actually do it and put in work, they disappear.

    This really bothers me because I've wasted hours of my time trying to help people in the past who acted like they wanted to code but actually just liked the idea of coding but not the reality of it... This is not a problem specific to our field... It is very common for people to either want the money or lifestyle associated with some career without wanting to put forth the actual effort... Sentences like "I'd love to be a movie star" couldn't be farther from the truth... A more accurate statement would be "I'd love the lifestyle of a movie star without putting in the steps necessary to get there," etc...

  2. People thinking that someone is either "good with computers" or not. There are parts to this which do hold true - but people forget that computers are a platform and thus just because John is a great malware analyst doesn't mean he's a great DevOps engineer, hardware guy, or even Python programmer for example. People assume that just because I spend night and day coding and reverse engineering and stuff, that suddenly I can solve all of their computer problems, but more importantly, that I can so do easily.

In summary, both of the above points aim at a standard theme which is that laypeople greatly underestimate and underappreciate the actual work/effort required to do things on a computer. I think this is the case because the job is similar to a mechanic but with a car mechanic, the hard work is tangible, visible, and more obvious - there's sweat, dirt, oil, grease, and sometimes injuries involved.

In our line of work, we just look like we're sitting at a box and next thing a person knows that box can now help them file taxes, or use their bank account, or chat with their friends, etc...

PS: I have no idea why this system is saying I have #1 twice but I wrote #2 above and it gets changed to 1 again lol.

Reply to this…

Share your programming knowledge and learn from the best developers on Hashnode

Get started

People think I'm their IT guy

It's at the point that if the electricity goes out, they think I can magically fix it. Slow internet? Their phone doesn't work?? "Lana can fix it!"

The "I'm not a programmer, but I took one online coding course and now my opinions are fact" person

Doesn't matter who you are or how much you know. The beauty of working in this field is that you can never 100% master everything. It is ever evolving. There is always something to learn and some way in which you can improve your craft. Being humble goes a long way.

If they have to employ other people's help all the time, then maybe they should not use a computer. Stick to Android phones and such. I don't mind really.

Reply to this…

Among various things the one that annoys me the most is:

Having a preconceived notion about a particular technology and trying to convince programmers why that tech is bad without any evidence or proof.

I have encountered this problem many times. There are people (non-programmers) who never get a chance to evaluate a technology, but they somehow develop a negative perception towards it. The worst part is that they try to discourage everyone else in the team by portraying negative things that aren't true and obviously can't be proved with benchmarks and evaluation.

A real conversation. I met someone at a conference and that person was into product marketing:

They: So, what tech are you using to build your product?

me: Node.js

They: Really? But that's a language just for PoC right? Just rewrite your codebase in python. It's age-old and battle tested.

me: Ok. 🤯 Let me grab some coffee! Will see you soon.


I still have no idea how to deal with these people. Maybe someone can advise?

The thing is, you are the developer, they are a marketer. You have different options. imho, one is to act the 'cool guy' and just ignore them, like you did. Another is to tell them off, like 'we evaluated different technologies, and for our project and team, this technology is the best. If you disagree, we are open to you re-evaluating your idea. Please document your findings, advantages and disadvantages and present them to us in a timely fashion.' Telling them something like that will shut them up and they will probably think twice about using superficial knowledge next time. It might also encourage them to do some research and speak out when they really are sure that they have a better idea (which might happen, of course).

I don't know how good these ideas are, so feedback welcome :)

Reply to this…

I am really annoyed by people who don't know the difference between a developer and IT technician. When i told people that i am a software engineer they usually ask me to format their pc or get rid of a virus etc.

Reply to this…

  • Ask me to choose the best Android Phone for them
  • Want me to fix their television's WiFi

And this takes the cake ...

  • "I want to talk to you about using blockchain for my business"

Reply to this…

Load more responses