that I find the most intriguing
are the ones in which success
requires vast amounts of research
. A successful result yields a piece of art
which only an audience who has also done the research can appreciate. When I manage to achieve a difficult
goal that I have set for myself, I sit back for a second; Take it all in; Look around for someone to tell about it; Then give up.
One of the things that I hate most about programming is that it doesn't get the appreciation that two-bit artists get. My very brief stint with art recently ended along with my relationship to an art student. What I gleaned from the endless troves of galleries, museums, and books, is that the most profound and revolutionary artists (in my opinion) do exactly what I do when I finish my work. They sit back and take it all in; Then someone tells them why what they've done is so significant. What drives me absolutely insane is that most of the brilliance in art has more to do with the audience than the art. The audience "gets it", but the artist doesn't. They wait for someone to tell them what the "true meaning" of it is! Everyone pretends to "get" art in a twisted, ego-driven sense. Most of the time, there's nothing to "get".
Why can't my code be surrounded with drama like this? Is it because it needs a true "meaning" or "purpose"? If that is the case, then I'll start creating extremely esoteric pieces of code that vaguely reference bits and pieces of past programmers. From now on, the code I write will be truly useless in its own right. Now I just have to find a forum in which to share it.
Sure, there are source code repositories that bury your brilliance behind a keyword search. There are contests that encourage some of the most impressively bad code I've ever seen. Why can't I take a beautifully written function, frame-it, put it in a gallery and have some yuppie buy it for his wall. I can't even say, "Hey baby, check out this code! What are you doing later?"
When it comes down to it, you've got to really love either the work, or the money, because your poster will not be on the wall next to the Back Street Boys. Your own mother can't even appreciate the work that you do no matter how much she wants to.
I've always admired that guy. You know, the one who designed TCP/IP. The one whose name no one can remember? I want to be that guy. The legacy I want to pass along is to add to the arsenal of schoolyard derogatory slang, the insult "User!"