Why does the Idea of Programming as Art Bother Me so Much?

Truly I’m not sure I can say. There have certainly been a broad range of elegant, well reasoned, and thoughtful takes on this subject over the past couple of decades. Every time I read one of my these pieces I typically find myself nodding along in agreement with almost all of what is said. Always though at the end I am annoyed. Really, actually bothered, like kind of angry.

I should be happy. It seems that whatever small population of persons who tried to argue for programming as a science in the past have finally given up. Without a natural home these wandering techno/coder/philoso/si valley/blog people cast about for a new tribe to join. Some have and still do argue passionately for the inclusion of programming under the engineering umbrella. Lately it seems this movement too has died. The programmolords of the future now say they are actually artists.

Like I said in paragraph 1 they have some strong arguments. But still I threw up a little in my mouth just now when I wrote that sentence. Why the visceral reaction? What is so offensive about this idea to me? Am I alone in this? I don’t have the stomach to try and flesh out my feelings and arguments right now. Need to go brush my teeth.

I will be expanding on this big time soon. In the interim, thoughts anyone?

Written by

Research scientist (Ph.D. micro/mol biology), Thought middle manager, Everyday junglist, Selecta (Ret.), Boulderer, Cat lover, Fish hater

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