Developer’s Life – Every Developer is a Superman

I enjoyed comparing developers to Spiderman so much, that I have decided to continue the trend and encourage some of my favorite people (developers) with another favorite superhero – Superman. Superman is probably the most famous superhero – and one of the most inspiring.

Everyone has their own favorite, but Superman has been the longest enduring of all comic book characters. Clark Kent has inspired multiple movie series, TV shows, books, cartoons, and costumes. Superman’s enduring popularity has been attributed to his superhuman strength, integrity, dedication to good, and his humility in keeping his identity a secret.

So how are developers like Superman?

Developer’s Life - Every Developer is a Superman superman

Well, read on my list of reasons.

Secret Identities

They have secret identities. I’m not saying that all developers wear thick glasses and go by an alias like “Clark Kent.” But developers certainly work in the background, making sure everything runs smoothly, often without recognition. Like Superman, when they have done their job right, no one knows they were there.

Working Alone

You don’t have to work alone. Superman doesn’t have a sidekick like Robin or Bat Girl, but he is a major player in the Justice League. Developers have amazing skills, and they shouldn’t be afraid to unite those skills to solve some of the world’s major problems (like slow networks).

Daily Inspiration

Developers are inspiring. Clark Kent works at The Daily Planet, Metropolis’ newspaper, which is lucky because he can keep some of the publicity Superman inspires under wraps. Developers might go unnoticed sometimes, but when people hear about some of the tasks they accomplish on a daily basis, it inspires awe.

Discover Your Superpowers

You have to discover your superpowers. Clark Kent didn’t just wake up one morning with the full understanding that he could fly, leap tall buildings in a single bound, and was stronger than a speeding locomotive. He slowly discovered these powers (after a few comic book-worthy misunderstandings!). Developers are always learning and growing as well. You probably won’t wake up with super powers, either, but years of practice and continuing education can get you close.

Every Day is a New Day

The story continues. The Superman comic books are still being printed, and have been in print since 1938. There have been two TV series, (one, Smallville, was on TV for ten seasons) and multiple cartoon adaptations. There have been multiple movies, with many different actors. A new reboot came out last year, and another is set to premier in 2016. So, developers, when you are having a bad day or a problem seems unsolvable – remember, the story will continue! There is always tomorrow.

I hope you are all enjoying reading about developers-as-superheroes as much as I am enjoying writing about them. Please tell me how else developers are like Superheroes in the comments – especially if you know any developers who are faster than a speeding bullet and can leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

Developer, SQL Server, Superhero
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5 Comments. Leave new

  • Developers tend to think of themselves as Superman, but they are seldom the virtuous hero depicted in comics. They take shortcuts and leave a trail of low-quality work in their wake and rely on the inability of business stakeholders to recognize it to get away without any consequence to their actions. It’s also a question of competence. When I was interviewing developers, the weakness of the candidates was astounding. Even guys calling themselves senior and asking for enormous rates/salaries had giant holes in fundamental knowledge and skills. Maybe I’m just grumpy this morning, but I’m feeling sour on developers. I appreciate the post and see your point, but my immediate reaction is “no they aren’t”. Maybe the idea of developer as a hero in the fortress of solitude is part of the problem. Having technical persons as more a part of a business and less as a mystical hero saving the day with technological feats of wizardry would drive toward a profession lacking in craftsmanship.

    • Dave,

      Every day I enjoy what you write – respect.

    • Looks like I made a mistake in my last sentence – meant to say drive toward a more sound profession with more sound professionals in a professional currently lacking in craftsmanship.

  • Thanks Pinal – same to you – respect is certainly mutual. And thank you for your daily blogging efforts. After having come across your site several times over the years when searching for SQL answers and then finally getting to know you a little more when I watched your interview in John Sonmez’s Marketing Yourself As a Developer package, I decided to take you up on your 7-day commenting challenge on both your blog and on John’s. It has been enjoyable following your blog as new things come out instead of only seeing you when I’m searching on something specific. I am working on getting my own blog in place and thank you for the value you have provided continually. Your consistency is an exquisite example and I got great value from the interview you did with John.

    • Hi Dave Rael,

      Thank you so much for your kind word and taking upon challenge. It seems like you are almost winner – no one in my entire life has won it, the proof is this blog.


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