Human Developers

When working in a silo, developers often begin to think of themselves and to act as if they were non-humans, foregoing sleep, food, and the niceties of human life (like rising from a chair…or blinking). The closer to the metal, the further from the flesh. Peer review by other developers helps those developers to see themselves as users—humans. Not just a computing brain with inputs and outputs and advanced algorithms and fingers for clicking, or a demiurge with all power and control, but a real live human.

It might only take a three-year-old to review someone’s application for them, because they are human too.

Experiencing someone else’s application is a simple human affair, but requires openness to learn how another person thinks, sees and organizes the world. For a developer reviewing another’s work, you are no longer god (as you are when you are the coder, creating worlds with your words)—you are Adam or Eve, newly born in a green garden with opportunities all around. It is the Adams and Eves that we design our worlds for. Human developers, who know first-hand how to be human, make more human-like applications. Developers ought to practice being human every once in a while. To review and to be reviewed.

And so in training other Web developers, we may turn them into computers, or we may lead them to develop into humans. We cannot give what we do not have. We must be humans, we must develop humans, and we must develop worlds for humans. Open the door to your world and let some humans in.

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