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Editor's Note - November 11, 2003

It's been too quiet here at developer.* for too long. I am pleased to break the silence with a new article by a very talented author, Donna L. Davis. Not only am I pleased, I am proud to be publishing this particular piece--"article" just seems to be too confining a term for it. In "The Purpose-Driven Programmer," Ms. Davis paints a beautiful prose portrait of all us--who we are, why we do what we do, and why what we do matters. I am confident that you will enjoy it, and that you will see something of yourself within it.

These are hard times for software developers--at least in the United States, where I live and work. Hiring has still not recovered from the bursting of the technology bubble. Companies continue to downsize, outsource, offshore, and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. I have spoken to many of my developer friends, and morale is low. Developers are discouraged, disillusioned with a career that seemed so promising not so long ago. These feelings are not just a product of a tight job market--tight markets come and go--but an overall attitude that seems to pervade the offices of corporate decision-makers. The idea appears very popular today that programmers are just commodities, easily replaceable with another body--especially if that body is willing to do the work at a fraction of the cost. It remains to be seen if this grand experiment will blow up in the faces of those who would believe that the process of developing software can be rationalized like an automobile assembly line and farmed out to the lowest bidder along with office supplies and janitorial services.

Under this dark cloud, "The Purpose-Driven Programmer" offers some light and hope.

As always, developer.* is actively seeking new authors. If you have an idea for an article, book review, interview, conference report, etc., then please get in touch. I have books sent by publishers waiting to be reviewed, and I am seeking short opinion pieces on anything related to the field of software development. I can always be reached at

Finally, if you have not visited the site in awhile, you may not have noticed the new Comments feature, which allows you to add comments to articles for all to read. Fire away.

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