6 May 2002 mstarch   » (Journeyer)

Hmm, I'm not really keeping up with my diary entries. I feel observed - it's a limitation to write diary entries that are public, but at least I can maintain my tradition of keeping track of book reading.


We have just finished moving to our new office on Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. They are _really_ cool. The office is in an old house situated in what have got to be the most charming part of Copenhagen. Right inside the city, 50 meters from one of the main streets (Vesterbrogade) lies a suburban district, with huge old houses with gardens, and nice quiet roads where there is no traffic, and where you can hear the birds sing, and look at the trees. Ahhh... Now all I need to do is to get some work done... :-) I feel more motivated to go to work than I've been for a long time.


Right now I'm reading Umberto Ecos new book Baudolino. I've also just begun reading Flashmans Lady, and was thinking of getting the new Tom Demarco book, Slack.

Programmer philosophy

Programmers think too much. We're paid to spend all of our time thinking about elegant or at least effective solutions to practical problems. We're taught never to reinvent the wheel, and we're taught that an elegant solution is a goal in itself. Programmers put too much strain on themselves. Programmers are implicitly expected to create code that is new and revolutionary, and at the same time they are expected to maintain a complete picture of the state of the industry, so that they can choose the best-suited standard components for the job. Programmers are expected to enjoy working long hours, because they love their job, and they are expected to avoid stress by plaing with nerf guns.

Sometimes programmers need to be pulled out of the depths of the specifics of a given project, so that he can get a grasp of the role of the project in the bigger whole. It's essential for the programmer to have a feeling that the project he's working on is worth-while, and somehow contributes to the world at large. If this doesn't happen, or if the project really doesn't serve a higher purpose, the programmer will be disillusioned with time, and he will start to ask himself about the purpose of his efforts. If this continues, his doubts may become even more existential - what is the purpose of software, what good does it do, who does it serve, why is software always improved/reinvented/rewritten, will the world run out of software in need to be written? As I said, programmers think too much. Or maybe I'm just confused :-)

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