I was wondering if you think it is better to be the questioner or vegetable type programmer. So what do I mean by these?
- Questions about improving what the employer asked for.
- If he does not know why the employer wants a task done in a certain way, he asks so that he could get the right mind set.
- Comes up with completely new ideas that the employer may have never thought of.
- Does exactly what the employer says to do.
- Gets the job done faster, since there is nothing to be asked.
Apparently some people fire questioners and keep the veggies...
What do you guys think? I personally think veggies are great programmers, but questioners are the best.
It depends on what you need, doesn't it? I think in many cases, a gardener with a team of vegetables is much more effective than a team of questioners.
[I'm assuming that Vegetables don't ask questions because they accept orders, not because they couldn't care less or are unmotivated/uninterested.]
This is actually an example of the age-old discussion "Leader or Follower". The sad thing is that "Follower" has such a bad connotation (just like Vegetable programmer). Everyone wants to be a Leader! Since I always root for the underdog, I'll try to show why there is no shame to being a Follower:
Bad qualities of Leaders:
-Arrogance: They can't follow because they think they know better.
-Ego: They won't follow because of Alpha Male mentality.
-"Inverse Ninja Law": A single good Leader can move the world, but an army of Leaders gets nowhere. Useless discussions are a plenty.
-Blindness/Incoherence: They'll say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow, yet are incapable of seeing the contradiction because of their arrogance.
Good qualities of Followers:
-Diligence: Gets the job done, even if he doesn't fully agree with it.
-Empathic: Knows that his opinion, his feelings and the consequences for him are not the only things that matter. Will make personal sacrifices if it benefits the group.
Followers too often get the reputation of "working zombies" and the failure of a project gets blamed on them for "not working hard enough" or "not seeing their mistakes", while in most cases a bad leader is to blame.
Being a Follower doesn't mean you can't ask questions; it just means that an unsatisfactory answer won't cause you to boycot the project. You realize that moving in any direction is better than standing still.
Lastly, being a Leader doesn't mean you're better than a Follower. It means you have more responsibility. If a project fails, it's your fault, because you chose the direction. If you werent up to the task, you should have asked more input, or asked for a second Leader to join in. Chances are you didn't because that would be "admitting defeat". Guess what: project failure is your failure; asking input isn't.
A questioner is not necessarily a leader. For instance, questioners are the one who discuss other ideas with each other and the employers. They are the ones that want the best for the company, so they want to give as much support as possible and suggest new ideas. They are also more of the curious type. They want to question so that they could understand how and why things are being done.