Richard Bucker

is computer programming a talent or labor

Posted at — Dec 6, 2016

BBC World’s Business Daily is running a story on brexit, the effect on the tech center in London, and the opportunity for the rest of the EU to cherry-pick.The reporter asked various entrepreneurs and tech executives about the ease by which they spawned their business, where they would scale and the availability of “talent”.I struggle with this generalization for several reasons. First and foremost many of the programmers that I came up with saw it as work or just a job. There was no vision or passion. Secondly, having been close to senior management in various startups the adjective “talent” was reserved for the first few key new hires while “labor” was reserved for those transient hires who joined later and were mostly needed to perform repetitive or laborious tasks that the “talent” deemed less important.Human resources people want to make policy and negotiate employment contracts. HR does not want to deal with job descriptions and placing adverts. They outsource that to labor consultants not necessarily talent consultants.Back in May 2015 I designed and built a reporting engine based on concepts from meta programming, domain specific languages, flow based programming, and  CI/CD. Shortly after the completion of the core system I started writing reports. In 18 months I have written about 900 adhoc reports and about 100 recurring reports covering everything from payments, financials, inventory, monitoring, validation and compliance…. and so I have transitioned from talent to labor [albeit very productive labor].