Home Forums Programming Why is programming fun

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #5421

      This was a quote from 1975 that someone posted to a mailing list I was on, it makes sort of interesting reading.

      It sort of explains why programmers are sad feckers as well :)


      “Why is programming fun? What delights may its practitioner expect as his

      First is the sheer joy of making things. As the child delights in his mud
      pie, so the adult enjoys building things, especially things of his own
      design. I think this delight must be an image of God’s delight in making
      things, a delight shown in the distinctiveness of each leaf and each

      Second is the pleasure of making things that are useful to other people.
      Deep within, we want others to use our work and to find it helpful. In this
      respect the programming system is not essentially different from the
      child’s first clay pencil holder “for Daddy’s office.”

      Third is the fascination of fashioning complex puzzle-like objects of
      interlocking moving parts and watching them work in subtle cycles, playing
      out the consequences of principles built in from the beginning. The
      programmed computer has all the fascination of the pinball machine or the
      jukebox mechanism, carried to the ultimate.

      Fourth is the joy of always learning, which springs from the non-repeating
      nature of the task. In one way or another the problem is ever new, and its
      solver learns something: sometimes practical, sometimes theoretical, and
      sometimes both.

      Finally, there is the delight of working in such a tractable medium. 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. (As we shall see later, this tractability has its own problems.)

      Yet the program construct, unlike the poet’s words, is real in the sense
      that it moves and works, producing visible outputs separately from the
      construct itself. It prints results, draws pictures, produces sounds, moves
      arms. The magic of myth and legend has come true in our time. One types the
      correct incantation on a keyboard, and a display screen comes to life,
      showing things that never were nor could be.

      Programming then is fun because it gratifies creative longings built deep
      within us and delights sensibilities we have in common with all men.”

      F. Brooks
      Mythical Man-Month

    • #32322

      >> F. Brooks
      >> Mythical Man-Month

      It’s a good book.. I was made read it twice in uni.

    • #32329

      wow O_o – beautiful :)

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • The forum ‘Programming’ is closed to new topics and replies.