Boone Gorges: The Pernicious Myth of the Code Poet

One response on “Boone Gorges: The Pernicious Myth of the Code Poet

  1. Andrea Fercia

    > We too are building things that make a difference in the world…
    > WordPress itself is not the point, the point is giving a tool to other people so they can do the things that they need to do out there.
    > Remembering that what we do is craft, reminds us that what we do really matters in this way and it reminds us that *we have a responsibility to keep the real life consequences of our work in mind as we do it*.
    > This is another way of bringing a sort of dignity in sense of responsibility and pride to the work that we do.

    Thanks for this Boone 👋

    Liked by 2 people

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June 21, 2017

“Code is Poetry” is a cute motto. It’s also quite false.

The spirit of the slogan is harmless enough. It foregrounds the easy-to-overlook fact that software is written by real people. And it provides some solace to the software developer who is looking for soulful validation of what often feels like a rote, boring, soulless job.

But code is not poetry, and coders who considers themselves “poets” risk doing a disservice to themselves, and to the software they’re engaged in building. Art is beautiful, and we want our software to be beautiful as well. But, in the service of beauty, art is often inert, inscrutable, ambiguous – hardly qualities of good code. Perhaps more importantly, software developers invested in an image of themselves as artists are more likely to shun collaboration, iteration, and criticism, an attitude that’s especially harmful in free software communities.

By breaking down the myth of the code poet, I hope to find some new metaphors that we software developers can embrace for justifying to ourselves the work that we do.

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