Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers


Ars Technica has the article Hello world: Shining a light onto the culture of computer programmers.

Thompson: One of the things that really leapt out is the almost aesthetic delight in efficiency and optimization that you find among software developers. They really like taking something that’s being done ponderously, or that’s repetitive, and optimizing it. Almost all engineering has focused on making things run more efficiently. Saving labor, consolidating steps, making something easier to do, amplifying human abilities. But it also can be almost impossible to turn off. Scott Hanselman talks about coding all day long and coming down to dinner. The rest of the family is cooking dinner and he immediately starts critiquing the inefficient ways they’re doing it: “I’ve moved into code review of dinner.”

Here is an article that does a good job of describing the life of a software engineer. As long time ago, we stopped calling ourselves programmers. Calling us coders is even more demeaning. Other than that, it is a good article.

In the 1970’s there was a lot of research going on about how to do quality software engineering. Most of management never seemed to get the idea, but what happened is that you have to spend more time engineering and less time coding. For the next 30 years or so, it was a lesson I continually had to teach, sometimes successfully, and sometimes not.

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