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Why computer programmers deserve their own stationery

Why computer programmers deserve their own stationery

Computer programmers obviously work quite hard in a difficult job, but there are plenty of jobs like that which do not have their own stationery. It is worth thinking about which jobs do have that privilege.

Doctors have prescription pads, which are actually more like a pre-printed form. Small business people have cash books (I nearly typed cache books!), and invoice books. Accountants have (had?) paper ledgers with pre-printed columns and the big one - the legal profession have pads, folders, various types of binder and ribbons, and even a paper size all to themselves.

The common thread is that all these items are used in predictable, stable and frequently occurring contexts. You are more likely to have stationery made for you if there are lots of you to use it. Solicitors alone (never mind the rest of the legal profession) make up 2 in every 1000 people and they handle a great deal of paper.

Everyone knows that computer programmers, scrum masters and the various project leadership functions get through a lot of stickies, index cards, board pens and Sharpies. They probably use a bit less stationery than solicitors though, but how many of them are there?

Looking only at computer programmers the answer is pretty encouraging. Ukrainian dev recruiters Daxx worked out there are probably about 4.7 million "classic" computer programmers in Europe (and more who program as part of another job). Wikipedia cites UN sources for a figure of 741.4 million for the whole population of Europe. Doing the math that is 6.3 programmers per 1000, or three times the number of solicitors per head. At least half of them are doing agile, perhaps even two thirds.

So, Agile Stationery has a big job to do. There is a much larger market for stationery for our target segment, yet the stationery supply side focuses attention on the legal profession.

If we are to ensure the software development industry is as well served as the legal industry we need to build partnerships with stationery distributors and catalogue companies, help educate them, work with them to refocus catalogue designs, and help them curate ranges. We're ready to do that.


Folders image by Damian Gadal

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