Based on in depth-interviews, observations and a corpus analysis of forty developers working in Silicon Valley, this article deals with the uncertainty of computer programming as a professional activity. The article focuses on the temporal structure of this activity and the uncertainty of the outcome from the developers perspective for their work, project and career. To reduce this uncertainty, developers call on support personnel during their programming sessions. To develop their projects, they rely on mediations. Finally, to ward off uncertainty in an industry characterized by complexity and volatility, they try to initiate turning points in their professional careers. Through the analysis of these three types of strategies (support personnel, technological mediations and turning points), this article proposes a framework for the temporal analysis of developers’work.
Keywords: developers, Silicon Valley, uncertainty, control, support, mediations, turning points, time, projection.