Since programming is an art, we ought to be able to classify types of programmers just like artists. Here is a start:


There are more of these.
Heh, somebody softlinked "Get a Life", which is a valid commentary but think about it . . . If programmers had lives, you wouldn't have Netscape. We do serve a purpose, however repulsive we may be to watch :)
And some more:
  • The Andy Warhol Programmer
    They write cryptic code. No one understand it but another Andy Warhol programmer. They use the most strange functions that apparently do nothing, but program will crash if you remove them. Trying to imitate them will cause laughs and, of course, the program will not work.

  • The Leonardo da Vinci Programmer
    Knows Everything and can code in every language. Also they think about a visionary architecture which will need technology not yet developed. Once he is death, he will be remebered forever.
The Salvador Dali Programmer:
Creates code unlike anything anyone has seen before. No one understands quite what the hell it's supposed to be or do, but it works, and they think it's cool anyway.

The Van Gogh Programmer:
Sacrifices important bodily appendages in the hope that the code will work. It doesn't.

The Anthony Gormley Programmer:
Capable of creating a vast range of code, from thousands of tiny modules through to one large mass. Somehow, you always get the feeling it's watching you.
  • The Hieronymus Bosch Programmer

    Writes programs with weird user interfaces -- fonts, buttons, forms, and layouts all spring fully formed from the coder's head and from nowhere else. Often found writing Themes. Hides all sorts of odd features in places you wouldn't expect.

  • The Pieter Breughel Programmer

    Like the Bosch programmer, the Breughel programmer hides features all over his program. However, he tends to make the most important aspect the least obvious to find.

  • The M.C. Escher Programmer

    Manages to write code that should not work, but does anyway. For example, frequently employs circular references to beneficial effects. Variable names follow internal logic but do not always follow global logic.

  • The Performance Art Programmer - writes code not because the code has any use, but for the purpose of making the code hard to understand. Those trained in obfuscation of code and obscure programming languages will often write things simply because the writing of the program would be interesting, or at least difficult. It is not easy to explain why this is done to someone who does not understand already-- it has to do with impressing people with your skill in a difficult task, and a lot more often with tripping people out with source code that screws with their heads. Performance art programming is pure art, with all function removed; function is irrelevant, the only relevant thing is the act of creation of something impressive. Function only serves to taint the purity. See also INTERCAL, unlambda, obfuscated perl or the IOCCC.

    This may be alternately called The Upright Citizens Brigade Programmer (if it is conceptually elegant, startlingly creative, and technically impressive), or The Karen Finley Programmer (if it is just plain scary, if it's hackish as in mindless drivel but not hackish as in weird shortcuts or Alan Cox, and if you have this feeling that there's probably some kind of art in there somewhere, but it's just kind of hard to find the point.)

    The Modern Art Programmer
    Just pastes random text files together and calls it a program. People will inexplicably believe him.

    The Computer Art Programmer
    The painter just holds an auto-painting brush in front of the canvas, and the brush magically does all the work

    The Edgar Degas Programmer
    Even if it's an accounting application, ballerinas will appear everywhere.
    Hieronymus Bosch
    ... not only are the features hidden but they'll try and eat you!

    Yoko Ono
    Baffling..... writes interface code with inline ASM, handles memory with Visual C++.
    And she'll demand across the board OpenGL support for her games

    Doug Chiang
    Can only breath life into the mechanics of the program... anything which requires a human feel comes off screwey

    Iain McCaig
    Can only breath life into the human bits of a program... anything which requires a mechanical feel comes off screwey

    One of the fundamental flaws in this otherwise humorous diatribe is the fact that Picasso wasn't a "Picasso artist," Seurat wasn't a "Seurat artist," and so forth. It should be noted that classifying a programmer in terms of a famous artist would be like classifying Picasso as a "Bjarne Stroudstrup artist - having so many different perspectives on the same image which ends up making the whole thing an incoherent mess," or Andy Warhol as a "Niklaus Wirth artist - creates an image which is accessible to everyone but only truly understandable to a few."

    That isn't to say that there isn't any sort of overlap, but it'd probably be better to refer to them as "cubist programmers" and "pointilist programmers" and the like. The genres were defined by a few notable artists, yes, but defining the entire genre by a single artist is typically unfair.

    Now, if you were to say, for example, "Leonardo daVinci - RMS" and make other such direct comparisons, then the metaphor holds up better. But otherwise, it's kind of insulting to pointilist programmers, as well as pointilist artists, to make it seem as though there is only Seurat.

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