One day i’ll come up with a better title or description, but as the motto goes at Facebook: “Done is Better Than Perfect”
Observer – Recognizes but doesn’t understand
User – Directly understands from a surface level
Integrator – Knows enough to “rig” some stuff together and make a killing in the marketplace (ie. where the $ is made)
Programmer – Can take direct orders regarding tasks at hand but is still a “ground troop”
Developer – Takes the tools created by the conceptualist and maximizes their use via proper use of development paradigms and patterns
Conceptualist – Creates the future of the world by defining the paradigms and patterns used by the developer, given to the programmer, capitalized on by the integrator via the paying users.
This whole thing really came together when I was talking with my neighbor about truly understanding software development today. He mentioned that once you reach the conceptualist level, you become overqualified to an extent. My retort is that by that time, you should have amassed enough knowledge and influence in your field that you can set your own price. The journey continues.