February 28, 2020

A Thank You Letter To Developers

Dear Developer (coder, hacker, insert title you prefer),

It’s a rare time we live in where the number of individuals and small teams can have such a massive impact on the populous at large. The apps, systems, and tools that you build are touching lives more regularly that almost any other thing we interact with today as humans. These digital goods are so prevalent, yet hide in the shadows of microchips and circuit boards. The 01100011011011110110010001100101 that you so thoughtfully craft is a marvel of the modern world that is seen by a minority, but experienced by the majority.

I can understand that this path you have chosen can feel thankless but please know that there are many of us out here that appreciate your hard work and dedication. Unfortunately, the perceived value of the work you are doing is being warped to an unsustainable level. Perhaps this is because of the faceless nature of your work, or the warped sense of values and entitlement in the world of technology. Regardless, please know that that the vocal minority does not represent all users. There are many of us who care, and care deeply about the relationship we have with each of you. I admit, we do not express our gratitude often enough or loud enough, but it is unwavering.

People do not go to a farmer’s market and comment about how great the peaches look and then ask why they are not free. I get so upset when someone shows genuine interest in a great app I am using and their first question is What is it called?” immediately followed by is it free?”. No, it isn’t 🤬 free. This mindset has to change. I can only hope I am helping in any small way with my daily interactions with people reminding them that there are people behind these products.

In early settlements each town often had a single individual who would perform a service for everyone else within the town. A blacksmith, chemist, or farrier. In this wild west we call the internet, you are much the same. Albeit, you are providing digital goods rather than physical, and the audience is millions rather than hundreds, the result is the same, a transactional community. We are all part of this community and it is every person’s decision how involved they want to be. Continuing on this train of thought, you act as the shopkeeper of your product and are front and center on Main Street, every single day. I just wanted to let you know that I will do my best to stop in your shop as often as I can, tell others about your shop, and at the very least wave to you every time I walk by to say hello and see how you are doing.

Thank you for all you do and have a great day!

Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might need a reminder that they are doing great work and it’s appreciated.

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Thank You Developer


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