Not a programmer, still a Developer

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It doesn’t seem to be a consensus in the community regarding the meaning of the words programmer and developer so I feel free to give my opinion on this.

I don’t see myself as a programmer. I do program sometimes (right now mostly in Grails, Java, Python and PHP, especially as part of the portal online code generation services ; and yes, you saw it right, a UMLtoPython service is coming!) but most of the time I model the domain and use model-driven development techniques to generate (most of ) the code (of course you could also directly interpret the models but that’s another discussion).

Therefore, I don’t program but I still develop software. I consider myself a developer, even if “of a different kind”.

The intersection between both roles (Model-driven engineers and programmers) is not empty because at least two important reasons:

  • It’s not always easy to decide where to draw the line between modeling and programming (which is not a bad thing IMHO), specially when using textual modeling tools . Low-level/detailed modeling (e.g. Executable UML ) and high-level programming clearly overlap (and the model oriented programming language UMPLE is a great example of this)
  • With exceptions, MDD requires some manual coding to complete/adapt the generated code so model-driven engineers still need to adopt a programming role at some point. Again, this is not necessarily a bad thing. I have argued before that you should use the right amount of modeling for each project.

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