The value of your skills

I'm a programmer. To me, that's a very cool thing to be, because I can turn ideas into reality. By just typing. But that's not really accurate. That's like saying a surgeon can do a heart transplant by just cutting and stitching. There's a lot more to it. There's training, thousands of hours of practice, thinking, and intuition. There's hard-won experience. There are mistakes, large and samll. All that adds up to a person with a set of skills.

If you're not a programmer, what we do probably seems easy. Some of it is -- for us. But that doesn't mean you're entitled to get it for cheap. Oil changes may be easy for seasoned mechanics, but those aren't free. And for good reason.

If you go to Craigslist, you will always find lots of "jobs" and "gigs" that are nothing but someone with an idea who wants a programmer to build an entire product for free. There is the claim that money will follow only if the idea person makes money off of the programmer's work. This is backwards. The programmer should get paid. This could be in equity or cash, but should never be "on spec."

That reminds me of this hilarious post. It speaks for itself, so I'll end this now so you can go enjoy it.

Happy Christmas.

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