There is a saying in the web development industry that goes something along the lines of: “Good developers copy. Great ones steal.” This suggests that a lot of people believe that there is nothing unique left to be created. Does this imply, then, that ‘stealing’ code is acceptable? Perhaps not, as you can see from the other two types of developer out there:
- Web development copiers
Often, the copiers are seen as being at the bottom of the development pyramid – they are the novices who haven’t yet come up with any of their own useful code yet. There is nothing wrong with doing this – it’s a great way to learn what different pieces of code does to the website as a whole, until you get to a point where you can do this without copying.
- Web development stealers
This generally occurs after a developer has copied another’s code and begun to understand how it works – they realize that coming up with something similar (on their own) is much harder then it looks. These people then begin to steal their code, carefully concealing their sources so that no one can trace their deception.
- Web development strugglers
These are the developers who try their hardest to avoid copying and stealing other’s work. They are aware of the fact that it is near impossible to create anything unique in this day and age, but they try to do so regardless. These people instead try to draw inspiration from other areas of life.
Seeing as there are 3 kinds of people in the web development industry, it does seem to suggest that stealing is not the only way to come up with great code and websites. It should be the strugglers, then, that are considered as the truly great developers, the copiers the good ones, and the stealers the bad ones.