Programming as poetry?

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  • November 21, 2011
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“The programmer, like the poet, works only slightly removed from pure thought-stuff. He builds his castles in the air, from air, creating by exertion of the imagination. Few media of creation are so flexible, so easy to polish and rework, so readily capable of realizing grand conceptual structures.”
― Frederick P. Brooks Jr.

We have this quote up on the wall in our office. I have always found it inspiring and hope that in some small way this will inspire the developers working here.

Programming is an extremely creative process. We need to take a nascent idea that is floating around in the head of the creator and turn that into a language a computer can understand. The simpler a task is to perform for the end user, the more work has gone into it from a developer to hide that complexity from the user. Here is another quote that developers can relate to:

What we do is never understood, but only praised and blamed.