Every now and day blog posts about what it takes to be a good programmer or how you figure out if someone is a bad programmer arrives. There’s always talk about how you find the good programmers in interviews and the topic is always hot in schools and universities.
Today I read the best comment so far about the topic by hacker news regular edw519:
My default response to any “good programmer, bad programmer” post:
A smart accountant once told me that the answer to “How much money did you make?” is always, “Who wants to know?” If it’s an investor, the answer is “A lot.” If it’s a customer, the answer is “A little.” If it’s the IRS, the answer is “None.”
Same thing here. The answer to “Who is a good programmer?” is always, “Who wants to know?”
To a project manager, the programmer who hits every deadline (regardless of quality) is a good programmer.
To a customer, the programmer who solves their problem quickest is a good programmer.
To a business owner, the programmer who makes them the most money is a good programmer.
To a PHB, the programmer who makes them look the best is a good programmer.
To a journalist, the programmer who tells the best stories is a good programmer.
To a junior programmer, the best mentor is the good programmer.
To another programmer, the programmer they are most likely to want to go into battle with is a good programmer.
To a blogger, the programmer who best fits the profile of the point he is trying to make is a good programmer.