True Story: Programming, Paradox, and the Pot of Gold

Paradox is the spice of life. Maybe. Because life is full of contradictions and other hands. Take this very interesting juxtaposition. Kevin Systrom, founder and CEO of Instagram, just sold it for $! billion to Facebook. And he built the Instagram prototype himself, in his spare time, after teaching himself to code, also in his spare time. Here’s more detail, from Instagram’s product genius is a self-taught programmer on The Next Web:Pot of gold

Systrom, an active user on Quora, is a largely self-taught programmer. While working in the marketing department at Nextstop, which Facebook acquired in 2010, he would spend his evenings learning to program. According to Systrom, small projects included combining elements of Foursquare with Mafia Wars.

Now consider this: The success of this do-it-yourself programming story generates a flood of pay-others-to-do-it designers in Silicon Valley, according to User interface designers invade Silicon Valley after success of Instagram, as reported by Reuters, on The Verge.

The “new breed” of Valley people are dubbed “user experience designers” and can fetch as much as $80,000 for an entry level position. In some situations, designers are becoming embedded in the conceptIon of new features — Facebook, for example, has begun assigning a designer to consult with a team of engineers led by a project manager.

True, designers aren’t engineers. But they aren’t do-it-yourself programming-at-night entrepreneurs either.

Go figure. The pots of gold aren’t always where they are supposed to be.



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