An article telling programmers not to call themselves programmers has been making the rounds recently. The author explains:
“Programmer” sounds like “anomalously high-cost peon who types some mumbo-jumbo into some other mumbo-jumbo.”
Instead you should make pains to “describe yourself by what you have accomplished for previously employers vis-a-vis increasing revenues or reducing costs”, such as quants on Wall Street. The irony is that in many circles, “programmer” could well be replaced with “quant”, and that statement would be completely valid. While the idea of attaching yourself to a profit center is wise, the problem isn’t about how you brand yourself. It’s about the role you play in the organization and whether it can be done by a computer. Regardless of whether you’re an engineer, a programmer, or a quant, if your role can be made redundant then it will be. But not because you call yourself a programmer.