Programmers tend to talk about being a "code monkey" in a derogatory way. "Don't work there, you will just be a code monkey!".
I have two offers for jobs, one at a small company, one at a very large company (same salary). My friend just told me I will be a code monkey at the large company, and knows from first hand experience that the small company will be more rewarding than reducing me to a "code monkey".
I don't really understand the distinction between a "code monkey" and a "real" programmer. Please elaborate. I love programming, so to me the idea of sitting at a computer programming (i.e., code monkey) doesn't seem bad. What does a programmer mean by "code monkey" if he/she enjoys programming?