TCLP 2009-05-13 Monologue: Amateur-Pro Divide

This is a feature cast.

In the intro another mention of my very enjoyable interview on Fanboyhell.

Listener Feedback this week is Nahtass with some additional thoughts on learning new languages, Randal with a correction of my pronunciation of MySQL, and Sarah with the correct, full content feed for 2D Goggles.

The hacker word of the week this week is ed.

The feature this week is a monologue consider the gap between amateur and professional creatives and what it is exactly that makes up the gap.  This builds a bit on my previous monologue on peer media.

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Grab the detailed show notes with time offsets and additional links either as PDF or OPML.

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One Reply to “TCLP 2009-05-13 Monologue: Amateur-Pro Divide”

  1. Thanks for another great monologue. I was surprised that you didn’t reference your own activities as a professional programmer who also works on projects for the love of it. What differentiates the work you do as an amateur and what you do as a professional?

    For myself, I happen to be a professional in a realm where most participants are amateurs – Free and Open Source Software. (Whether most of the core code in FLOSS projects is written by amateurs or professionals is subject to a lot of debate, but I think it’s fair to say that counting heads rather than LOC results in more amateurs than professionals.)

    For my part, the transition from amateur to professional was one of luck and the law of averages. I spent a ton of time on my FLOSS projects while working as a professional developer; eventually one of my bets was going to hit. Maybe the biggest factor is having the courage (or the foolishness, or the desperation) to take opportunities to professionalize your hobbies when they come up.

    On a last note, I think that it’s a myth that professionalisation inevitably leads to a loss of integrity and unethical behaviour. That’s a personal choice; nobody can make you do the wrong thing for money, and there’s always a good business providing high-quality products or services to consumers or an audience in an ethical manner. Money is not the root of all evil; it’s just a convenient excuse for people who don’t want to take responsibility for their choices.

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