3 Replies - 280 Views - Last Post: 27 February 2018 - 08:06 AM

#1 Skydiver   User is offline

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Programming as a craft

Posted 27 February 2018 - 06:46 AM

I ran across this the other day: Programming as Craft

It's a different take on the debate whether programming is craft or not. The article's main topic is about permanence and how quickly the technology changes.

To me the last paragraph is particularly poignant:

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It is a push to think about permanence, on how to write code that can stand up for years to come. Ultimately, it is a request to think in terms of creating a field that makes us more human in Crawford’s conception, as craftsman who can continue a lineage of excellence.


Personally, I think that it is the programming concepts and practices that persist long term. For the short term, it's the application of those concepts that differentiates between great or slipshod work.

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Replies To: Programming as a craft

#2 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Programming as a craft

Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:10 AM

I agree. Anyone that has been at this a while has walked into a shitty code base. What makes it shitty is usually lack of concepts, or poorly applied concepts. Paradigms like OOP are not new, but they are treated as if they are, hell the GoF book is what, 20 years old? Building something that adopts to changes in business is critical, it is also why languages that people like to say are extinct are still in use for legacy systems. "If it ain't broke"

Technologies do change, but the principles guiding how to use that tech hasn't really changed. That makes the permanence. It is also why the tech shouldn't scare someone. Like several developers, I can hop into different tech stacks to accomplish a task. If the technology was really that vastly different, that wouldn't be possible.
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#3 baavgai   User is online

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Re: Programming as a craft

Posted 27 February 2018 - 07:51 AM

Interesting. I don't agree with the author on the nature of a craftsman. I could offer as my response two words: butter sculpture. I'm thinking of the Tibetan Buddhists here. They do the same shtick with magnificent sand paintings, as mandalas, for the same reason. Impermanence. Ozymandias is always doomed to be erased by the sands of time.

Permanence is an illusion, and a conceit, and totally missing the point. Humans create things. Some devote themselves to honing their craft. While some might, indeed, entertain the idea of their creations giving them some kind of immortality. However, this would be a consequence of obtaining a level of skill, not the drive to achieve it.
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#4 8Bit Bob   User is offline

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Re: Programming as a craft

Posted 27 February 2018 - 08:06 AM

Well, think about the programmers at Atari. They paved the path for video games (and, one could argue, programming in general). And even though there are much "better" video games out there now, those games are still played and loved by many people, and the names of those programmers have gone down in video game history.

This post has been edited by 8Bit Bob: 27 February 2018 - 08:22 AM

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