Placebo Developers

There are a number of placebo developers in all the different fields of development. It is the unfortunate truth that depresses many people all across the various industries.

Placebo developers are self-entitled developers that have little to no knowledge on the subjects of their choosing but for various motivations, they will pretend they are the best of the best when it comes to these situations.

It is a difficult topic to discuss as even as you read this, I have no doubt in my mind that you feel that I believe I am above these people and that I am acting quite snobby towards less experienced developers of the industry. This could not be more further from the truth.

During my time as an educator, I have met, socialised and learned about people from all walks of life. From the child with dreams of bringing their ideas to life to the elderly gentleman wanting to finally put his carefully laid plans to practice, I was fortunate enough to be in a position where I could learn all of these people’s interesting stories.

These are not the people we will be talking about today. The people we will be discussing are the people who do not want to attempt the grind that most developers have to experience. They want the social standing of someone with impressive knowledge in their chosen field, they want attention, they want the world without having to put the hard work in. They want the easy life.

“So what?” you might be thinking, just ignore these people and they will go away. Sadly, it is not nearly as easy as that. These people are usually relatively successful in their poker-esque bluffs and manage to climb quite high up the ladder on false pretences.

Again, I understand how this might sound. It probably sounds like I am jealous that these people are more popular and earning more than me and my developer friends, so I’m ranting because I feel like I’ve lost the game. This isn’t the case and that is not the point I am trying to convey.

These people, a lot of the time, use this faux-knowledge and social stature to bully young and aspiring developers. Some even intentionally educate others with false information in the hopes that they themselves remain as the top cheese in the rat race that is the various development industries.

I am obviously generalising pretty radically here. Not all placebo developers are like this and certainly, most developers are not like this either. But these people do exist and whatever their motivation is, they continue to cause havoc and depression industry wide.

I would not normally go out of my way to attempt to raise awareness about this issue, especially when my perspective could be skewed for self-gain, however, I would argue when they are talking down to and bullying the next generation of developers, that can’t be ignored.

As these individuals are unique, they all have their separate motivations and methods. Some are doing it because they are lonely, for others it is pure monetary gain and some even just do it because they can. Their motivation and method shouldn’t matter, what people should be talking about is the damage they’re (possibly unintentionally) doing to these various development industries.

We should be motivating and assisting the next generation, not scaring them away. If this continues, it is entirely possible that one day in the distant future that the industries are filled with more personalities than productive workers.

At this point, I do not know what can be done to alleviate this issue. It’s a surprisingly touchy subject and one with no clear solution. Like rats on the London Underground, if you sort out one tube station’s rat infestation, another 2–3 stations would probably become inflicted with a hoard of rats, ready to ruin people’s commute.

If I had to offer advice on what I would do to sort the problem, I’d go directly to the key victims of this dangerous game these people are playing. I’d do my best to correctly educate the younger generations, I’d offer support to combat bullying from personalities who do not have the skills they claim, I would do all I can.

Sadly, I do not have the resources to currently aid these victims. I am just one person who has to pick up the slack these placebo developers are leaving behind as they climb to the top. All I can do is inform people about the situation and hope that one day, be it tomorrow, next year or in a lifetime, that something gets done about it. These people do not deserve the platforms they have and do not deserve to attack the future of these industries.