Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Unionization for Developers and Designers

There was a time in the past where I actually thought developers and designers would benefit from unionization. I realize now that it would shape a devastating reality to the overall advances of technology and design. Unionization would paralyze our ability to innovate because the level of protectionism inherent in unions encourages laziness.

By looking at different disciplines, such as, carpentry and construction, we can observe that there hasn't been any real innovation in toolsets. Carpenters still do not have any robust tools that'll make their jobs 100x more convenient. I compare that manual labour to a programmer writing in binary just to build an eCommerce site. It is puzzling how other technology sectors have little to no progression. Another example is economic airline technology--20 years ago we had super sonic jets and now we're stuck with slower airplanes. How do they fix this problem? They improve the fuel efficiency in the engines. Aircraft technology needs another Howard Hughes--someone who can really push the industry in the right direction and really make lives better. Without Howard Hughes' achievements, we would never have had commercial flight.

In software, there are many heroes that have Howard Hughes' determination to prevail: Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates. While Steve Jobs has been leading the efforts in consumer software and hardware (computing and mobile), Mark Zuckerberg has been leading the efforts in social networking. Facebook has revolutionized the way humans interact with each other by allowing people to build new relationships, rekindle old relationships, and share life's timeless memories through videos, photos, and status updates.

One of the primary reasons I design and develop software is because the environment changes constantly. It's an evolving ecosystem to be in. Problems are surfaced and solutions are executed against those problems at different angles. It's fast-paced.

Imagine a world where developers could work 8 hour days and be confident about his unfinished/untested work. What about his teammates? Don't they depend on his code being feature complete? Nothing would ever get done because of the level of protection unions provide people -- It's a shield for the lazy.

Good luck and have fun,
Jaime Bueza

Jaime Bueza is a software developer in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has developed web applications for Nintendo, Starbucks, Electronic Arts, Ritchie Brothers, Kiwi Collections, Cox Communications and Microsoft. When he's not developing useful software that constantly evolves with business requirements, he's creating tutorial videos for aspiring front-end developers.