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Engineers find the meaning of life in building things for people

What Engineers Want – A Rebuttal to the 501 Manifesto by Greg Herlein is a response to a leftist’s anti-capitalism screed. Greg says

Engineers want:

1. To build things

2. That help people

3. That actually get used

What this is saying is that an engineer is a ‘creative’ that is driven not by aesthetics alone but rather by social needs to contribute to the health, welfare, and happiness of individuals.

The ‘501 Developer’ thing is about those software developers who split the scene at 5:01 when their shift is over. The ‘manifesto’ is full of derision for “corporate goals of business owners” and “commercial products the world doesn’t need” and full of freebies and irresponsible lifestyles. “That is to say, we value the things on the left more than we value the things on the right. And some of the things on the right aren’t even on our radar.

Engineers are not the only ones that want to build things to make people’s lives better. That is what business is all about, too. If they don’t do that, they fail and the investments made to build the business are lost. The ‘501 Developer’ types are biting the hand that feeds them and letting hubris overtake common sense. The bragging about such a state is probably a matter of being defensive over their unease at the dissonance.

I think I’ll take the engineers and entrepreneurs any day — those people who get their jollies out of building rather than destroying.

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