I am, strangely, not an expert in my own history. Chronicling my own exploits through digests and Prime Photos have helped somewhat in this regard, but I nevertheless struggle to remember the sequence of my life.
So I think it was 2015 when I was writing about the tales of Emma in Developer Hegemony. And I think it was a few months later that I first dreamed up the strange neologism of “efficiencer.” I think, but I’m not positive.
What I do know, however, is that it was a few years ago now. And I also know that my thinking has evolved somewhat since then. So I’m going to answer a couple of reader questions today with the benefit of having acquired additional experience since writing the book. I’ve moved away from management consulting, started a business, and helped a lot of nascent product companies with marketing and positioning.
I haven’t really made any reversals, so if you bought and enjoyed the book, don’t worry that I’m disavowing any points in it. Rather, I’ve refined how I think so-called efficiencer firms should market themselves. And, as you can probably infer from the title, it should categorically not involve any whiff of generalism.
Let’s Look at the Reader Question
Alright, so what have readers asked me? Well, quite a while back (2017, in fact — yes, I have a long reader question backlog), someone asked me this.
The efficiencer model looks a lot like management consulting except the consultants here can do the automation as well. What has changed to make this path more suitable for developers to follow?
And, more recently, someone asked me a question in response to a post I wrote about how any firms that sell custom app dev are selling staff augmentation. I see a logical progression for software developers, for the most part, moving from staff to staff augmentation to, well, efficiencers. This prompted the question.
Say we work for an efficiencer firm, and we avoid writing code for pay. In the end someone needs to write code; who is that? Are we back to architects vs. programmers & UML handoffs? Or is this an interim solution?
So we have a question that is literally about who writes the code, and another that, at its core, really asks how software developers can be taken seriously offering consultative expertise. All of this feeds into the general theme of the division between expertise and labor, and who should furnish each.