Who Needs Talent When You Have Intensity?

Jack Black, in the DVD extras for School of Rock, had this to say in an interview:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2005/01/who-needs-talent-when-you-have-intensity.html

Take it one small step further:

Your application is not about YOU (the developer) it’s about THEM (the user).

It’s very difficult for us (developers) to think like them (users) so a lot of the time we’re left with stuff that’s between what we think is useful and what they think is worth a damn. Thankfully I don’t produce software to be in this position though I’m definately the end user on a number of “almost not worth our time/money we spent years ago” applications.

Good point, the student-teacher metaphor does extend fairly well to developer-user.

What you absolutely have to have is a tight feedback loop between users and developers. In my experience, the more cloistered the developers are in an ivory tower, the worse the created product will be. There’s a direct (negative) correlation between developer isolation and software usability.

You really made up my day. I’m not a good programmer, atleast I have the intensity

Of course!

Why have people who know what they’re doing when a room full of intensely enthusiastic idiots can do it just as well.



I agree with this 21534543% Though, I also think that passion breeds talent.

You have gone from the easiest captcha ever to the hardest. Congrats. I failed a total of 4 times.

Does having intensity mean I should get back to work and stop reading this site?

I guess this applies only to certain things. You can’t obviously say this is true for pure math researchers or scientists. For certain things where talent doesn’t play too big a role, this is true. Otherwise, it totally is not.

And I have been mistaken all the way… It is all about quantity and not about quality…

I believe what Jeff is getting at here is that there are multiple ways to achieve quality. Obviosly the main way is through knowledge and experience. But another way is through intensity - a.k.a. passion. One is not a substitute for the other but can be added together to achieve a quality result whether playing guitar or writing software.

Since we’re commenting on old posts, I’d just like to point out that Kyle Gass (the other half of Tenacious D) is actually a very good guitarist, which is why Jack Black can get away with being mediocre.

It sounds cheesy, but attitude defines your existence.

I usually don’t comment but I have an urge to say that this post got me back on my hopes.
I felt frustrated from trying to get a work abroad, blaming myself for not having a bachelor degree or the means to get an interview. This post reminded me of my roots when I was still learning HTML and sweating blood to get recognition, earning R$250 per month.

I can simply thank you =)

1 Like