Have you read the 501 Developer Manifesto? No? Well, go read it, then come back here, because I'm about to go on a rant about how much I hate it.
Do I hate it because I disagree with it? No. Well, mostly not, but more on that in a bit. Do I hate it because I'm the kind of developer the author takes issue with? Well, I certainly hope not.
I hate it because I actually agree with most of everything it says, while at the same time it does an amazing job at discrediting itself.
The manifesto's core statements – listed in somewhat larger type on the website – I agree with. 100%. Not only are they important things to say; it is also important that they have been written down, published, and are now being dissected and discussed by the general developer populace. Agree with them or not, they will have some kind of impact to a bunch of people, and that's a good thing.
However, after listing said core statements, the author feels the need to fire some flak at people who, in his opinions, are doing things wrong. The list contains weird little ideas like “pushing to GitHub while on the toilet” alongside “contributing to open source projects” and “attending user groups in my spare time”. I have never pushed code to GitHub from the toilet, but I do contribute to open source projects and attend the occasional user group meet-up. I have no idea how the author thinks that all these things move on the same level.
The author claims to respect, and at the same time pity, these developers, something that he has later tried to put into perspective on the 501 Manifesto Blog, where he not only fails to understand why people are taking issue with the statement, but also ends up making things even worse by stating stuff like the following:
If you’re still feeling offended by the “pity” thing – one word in a longer, and I think mostly coherent and reasonable document – it may be that you’re not quite the nerd of the popular imagination. It may be that you’re a tedious, perpetually angry alpha-male coder who gets in everyones faces and throws a tantrum when they fail to show reverence to your throbbing code boner.
What the author fails to understand is that the problem is not the word “pity”, it's the fact that he believes contributing to open source projects, attending user group meet-ups or writing technical blogs are just as stupid/bad/wrong as pushing code to GitHub from the toilet. The idea of pushing code to GitHub from the toilet is ridiculous, and if your job requires you to do it (or, worse, you do it because you think it's fun), then I pity you, too.
At this point it's become really hard to defend the author, which really is a shame. The 501 Developer Manifesto could have been a great and important little piece of developer literature. But with the included snide remarks and the poor effort that is its blog, it stands as nothing more than a poorly conceived rant-fest by a developer who's probably better at writing code than at getting his point across.
The Manifesto also includes a link to Programmers Being Dicks, a Tumblelog collecting instances of, well, programmers being dicks. I take issue with efforts like that. Yes, our industry has dicks, sexists, idiots (and the occasional decent person making a bad call). But for every one of those, there are a hundred perfectly cool people who just get on with their jobs and don't feel the constant need to rant, belittle or patronize. Those are the real 501 Developers, and they don't even have a website.