Sorry for the delayed response. You all make excellent points, particularly when you have the luxury of doing things "the right way". However, both this column and The Career Programmer are really geared towards those programmers who live in a less than perfect world. My experience during the past decade & a half, along with the vast majority of the reader response I get from around the world, indicates that most programmers make a living in shops that more closely resemble Dilbert than the picture perfect world of professional software development imagined in college.
Arbitary deadlines, illogical management decisions, sweatshops, ever changing requirements, lack of professional testing resources and (my personal favorite) the frailties of human nature as expressed in petty office politics all conspire against the organized and professional developer. If you work in a disciplined and well ordered shop, you're not just among the fortunate. You're among the minority. These tactics are for the rest of us.
Of course, there's always the young guys who wax philosophical about the religious issues of "dedication", "sacrificing for the good of the company", "being a team player", "doing whatever it takes", etc. We older guys have a nickname for them: cannon fodder. These are the guys that management takes advantage of because they know that they're too inexperienced to realize how it will come out in the end. Furthermore, they're counting on that willingness to work 80 hour weeks, month after month (on salary, of course), all the while bragging to their higher ups about how they're getting their developers for half price.
As long as the actions you're taking truly bring value to your company or client (and that's a critical part of this particular theme), there is absolutely no dishonor in looking after your career in the process. No one is going to do it for you.
Author - The Career Programmer: Guerilla Tactics for an Imperfect World (Apress)
Edited by - Show Programming on 11/15/2002 3:10:29 PM
The Career Programmer (Apress)
Unite the Tribes (Apress)