New Blog and What is a code monkey?

New Blog

Well I have been intending to create this site for quite some time, however as usual free time is at a minimum. Ill give credit to a friend of mine for getting his up first (see -- and therefore motivating me to get this one up! I had a time trying to decide how to host/create the site as well as decisions on the domain name. My aforementioned friend went with wordpress which I almost did but then I found BlogEngine.Net. Ah Ha! Now i get more control, I can learn some aspx (web languages are becoming a necessary skill set), and get my blog up! 

So what shall the first post be about? Future ramblings will involve programming, mostly c# and java. Some projects of mine I would like to highlight, some wisdom (or foolishness) I have aquired over the years. However for this first post I think we need to define.... 

What is a code monkey? 

If you have not ever heard the song check it out here. There are quite a few youtube videos made around it.

The term is usually used as a derogatory label although it can be used to refer to anyone who writes code for a living. Some common meanings behind the term ....
  1. Someone who writes code so simple  a monkey could do it.
  2. Someone who only  writes code. (No design, requirements, etc)
  3. Someone who writes a lot  of code. 
As you might expect junior programmers are referred to often as code monkeys. It can also be used to deny responsibility.... "Hey i don't make the decisions, I am just a code monkey", "I am a code monkey, I just do what I am told" etc 

In my case however, I tend to use the term as a humbug. Ok so maybe I should define that as well since most people tend to think of Ebenezer and relate the word to an exclamation of grumpiness. A humbug however is
  • A joke, jest or hoax, something designed to deceive and/or mislead
A lot of people both inside and outside the field tend to think of what <insert code monkey term here (programmers/software engineers/developers)> do is pretty simple. That any kid sitting at home can "program a computer". See this rant. Being the mildly facetious person that I am, I took the term and ran with it. 

A "code monkey" is actually about as far from what I do as is possible. Yes I can "code". In fact according to some of my peers I can code at a rather insane rate. However that has way less to do with the simplicity of the code and more to do with designing ahead of time what I am going to write with a huge emphasis on reuse and generic code. Sometimes I write little helper applications to do mundane tasks for me. Sure it takes longer to write the program then just doing it the first time, but once i have to repeat this task 4 or 5 .... hundred times it makes a huge difference.

This made me stand out a bit as a new programmer, I was a "code monkey extraordinaire". When what i was doing was not very code monkeyish at all! Nowadays however I am a senior member of a rather unique team. While I still code quite a bit my claims to fame now are usually for architecture design, problem detection/solving, quick adaptation to new languages/technologies, and being able to take whatever the designers(UX) hand me and make it a reality. 

Yet I still go by the code monkey label, my own personal humbug.

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