Enjoyed your distinction between desk jockey and vocational programmers. Agreed on all points. An addition to you comment on vocational programmers without empathy…you had suggested these types of folks could pursue things such as open source programming and hobbyist programming. I think another area these types can excel at is in writing code that doesn’t interact with the user. For example, code to process messages off queues, data access code, or batch programs would all be appropriate. This type of code typically doesn’t require much empathy as the end user is either a machine (e.g. a message queuing system) or another developer (as in the case of data access code).
Keep up the good work. I really enjoy all the thoughful comments and reflection. 🙂