I learned a lesson many years ago from "The Wizard of Oz" about self image and I try to pass this wisdom on to others in our field. Several years ago, I was speaking to a large group of programmers at the Professional Users Group and after the session a group member came up to me and asked me for advice. He said that he was the best programmer in the entire user group and was also a better programmer than me, yet he could not get any consulting customers nor sell any products and most of the people in the group didn't respect him. He wanted to know why. After interviewing him for several minutes, I came to the realization that he never paid for any of his software. He attended regular user group meetings so he could qualify for software giveaways but he never bought anything. Basically, he had the attitude that he was far too smart to need to buy any software and felt that it was stupid to pay for something he could get for free. The software that he used every day was pirated from his hacker friends. I told him that if he took his problem to the mighty and powerful OZ, he would have probably been told that he didn't need a brain, he only needed to pay for his tools. So he gave me a check for a copy of my product and I gave him a certificate that he could place on the wall over his desk. It said "Professional Developer". - R. Donnay
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