An attitude seems to be held by every computer programmer I've met. Certainly by everybody I work with. The "me" is relative, of course, to whoever is making the claim. So before any other programmers out there get offended, ask yourself, "Why would this offend me?" And the answer that will ultimately surface is just that: "Every programmer is incompetent but me." (In your case, you will firmly believe that you are the only competent programmer to ever grace the surface of the earth and that I'm just an idiot. And of course, every other programmer on the surface of the earth will believe just as firmly that you are just as mistaken as I am.)

The proof is in the pudding. As an example, go waste some time on and read what people say there. Er... read the arguments over the stupid little minutiae. "No no no! An SSL can only currently resolve in IPv6 when the DNS resides on an intranet! This is impractical in most cases, and hasn't been resolved. This is the single biggest factor as to why IPv6 hasn't been adopted yet!" "No! I'll admit it's caused by DNS problems, but it's simply because most software, including that running the DNS servers, isn't capable of supporting the new protocol!" "Nuh-uh!" "Unh-huh!" (Fictional example.)

The only things anybody at slashdot actually have in common are, in no particular order:
  • Most of them are programmers.
  • Most of them are know-it-alls.
There are exceptions of course. Linus Torvalds and John Carmack aren't incompetent, and you'd get crucified for even suggesting it. So maybe the correct phrase is actually "Every programmer is incompetent but Linus, Carmack and me." But no realistic (read: not delusional) programmer would ever class him/herself with Torvalds and Carmack (excepting of course, Torvalds and Carmack) because those guys are gods, and we are mere mortals. So we omit that part, even though we secretly wish it was true, and take it out on every other programmer (but me).

I'm sure this attitude is actually true for a lot of different professions. I just notice the know-it-all ratio among programmers tends to be on the high side, though I'm really not sure why this is. Most programmers are probably aware of this already, consciously or subconsciously. I guess it's just an explanation for everybody looking on that wonders, "What the hell are the arguing about?" In all honesty, probably nothing.

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