Sometimes I am a proper primadonna who complains a lot and works hard when nobody is looking.
At the moment I am just a gofer, though. It varies.
As a rule I regerd mysalf as an artisan. Anybody read the Cryptonomicon? I go along with the hero's definition: we creators of wealth are the Dwarves, the others are Men and Elves, and very occasionally you meet a Wizard. I'm sharing an office with one right now - that guy is awesome. I think his middle name is Stroustrup.
No, that's low paid work. A slave has no option - they do not have the choice to leave, a low paid worker may feel like a slave sometimes, but there is a world of difference in being able to exercise that right.
At first I chose "it depends", but after a bit of reflection I changed my vote to craftsmen.
I realized it's not complexity or the ingenuity involved in the work I do on a day to day that makes me labor or craftsmen, it's the little things I do no matter the task. If I'm just doing the minimum work required to complete the task I'm labor, if I'm doing the extra little things to make the code run better, run faster, be more maintainable or be more extensible then I'm a craftsman.
Agreed...Craftsman/Laborer is reflective of how you work, not what you work on. You don't suddenly start doing shoddy welds because you are not working on a piece for a museum. I think it is the details and standards that make you a craftsman, not the job.
Despite my position on a project I just can't sit back and watch others do all the heavy lifting.
In fact, the heavy lifting is usually what's cool to do, not the boring repetitive tasks all projects have.
So, heather as a developer, team leader or project manager, I always have the need to get my hands dirty.
The key is in the job title you use; mine is: "Deparmental Sh!t-Job Boy", or DSJB.
I do all the crap jobs nobody else wants to do: I maintain our deparment server and administer our SourceSafe data bases(*). I write and maintain most of our in-house tools, our installers, and most of our engineering documentation. I'm also the "go to" guy for Windows and Visual Studio issues.
Of course, this role is aside from my day job of doing the UI's for our products.
The only sh!t-job I don't do is writing Engineering Change Orders (ECO's) for our releases. I do have some pride.
(*) Yes, I said SourceSafe, and yes, data bases is plural.
When I am given free reign on a certain section of the project then I am an Artiste and I must not be disturbed. However, when I wake up from my dream, I realize that I am nothing more than a lowly slob; chained to my cubicle of misery.
Just along for the ride.
What's really ironic is that the french word for prostitute is "artiste".
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 ----- You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 ----- "Why don't you tie a kerosene-soaked rag around your ankles so the ants won't climb up and eat your candy ass." - Dale Earnhardt, 1997