Programmers Take on Rock Star Status

Competitions, money power coder boom
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2008 12:45 PM CST

(Newser) – A growing number of computer programmers aren’t content to be anonymous code monkeys: Today’s most talented tech nerds are paid exorbitantly well to turn out brilliant code, and can even earn a small amount of fame doing it, ComputerWorld reports. “Some developers base their careers around eventually becoming rock stars,” while others “practically worship” at their “virtual altar,” said one writer who rates programmers.

Coding contests give the would-be software gods a way to make a name for themselves – one frequent winner, known as Tomek, is treated like a celebrity in Poland, even appearing on a billboard and inspiring a rap song. At the same time, deep-pocketed tech companies are desperate to find the most brilliant developers, and will pay to get them.