Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Programmers Have No Ideas?

I read blogs by smart interesting people so I can be exposed to new or different ideas. Eugene Wallingford is one of those smart interesting people. He recently blogged THE FLIP SIDE TO "PROGRAMMING FOR ALL"" In the post he quotes from Chris Crawford who says in his essay, Fundamentals of Interactivity: “cruel joke that Fate has played upon the industry: programmers have no ideas and idea people can't program.”

Crawford claims that programmers do not live in a world of ideas and that they have a limited view of the world. Clearly I know a different class of programmers. Most of my friends in the field read books beyond science fiction (though in general I think that science fiction is something a lot more people should read to expand their thinking). They are creative in many ways beyond code. In their spare time, they are farmers, wood workers, inventive with electronics, sports fans, art and music fans and knowledgeable in politics and philosophy. Many programmers I know are serious musicians and perform in public as well as privately.

That being said I do find that a lot of my students, who are young remember, would benefit from a wider exposure to creative efforts. And to a wider variety of people.

We do need more “idea people” to learn to code and we need to encourage people who know how to code to be more creative but I think saying programmers have no ideas is a bit harsh, a bit unfair and more than a bit false.


Mike Zamansky said...

Looking at this from the other side, how many humanities people proudly proclaim "I'm no good at math," "Computers hate me," or "I'm not a science guy."

It seems to me that while Math/CS people can live in a techie/sciency/geeky bubble in general we're far more well versed in the arts, literature, etc. than the humanities people are with our fields.

Garth said...

"Ask a programmer about Rabelais, Vivaldi, Boethius, Mendel, Voltaire, Churchill, or Van Gogh, and you'll draw a blank. Gene pools? Grimm's Law? Gresham's Law? Negentropy? Fluxions? The mind-body problem?" Ask almost anybody outside academia and you are going to get a blank.