One of the disappointing misconceptions that "outsiders" have about computer-related disciplines
such as coding
, is that they are medial
tasks which require neither particular skill nor creativity. This is, as many denizens
know, is quite incorrect. It is unforunate that the general public does not know much at all about the arcane
art of coding
. They don't know that it requires both the logical thinking characteristic of the relentless scientific professions, but it also requires the passion
of an artist
. People look at the programs they use every day - their web browsers, their word processors, their Quake
games - they see a product delivered to their door which simply works without any indication of why it works. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't
work. People, as they exist in the general public
, have no concept for how computers truly work. Nor, do they have a concept for how cars
work, or how electricity works. They accept these things, but they don't experience the painstaking, unrelenting labor
performed by their creators to bring these marvels of human ingenuity
to their whims. They don't see the art behind the code
when they use their computer. They cannot see the simple, beautiful efficiency of the algorithm
s they exploit. They cannot see the magnanimous skill
required to create carefully wrapped boxes of code
which work in fluid
, deadly swift motion within the bowels
of their machine.
Few people really grasp the impact that coders, graphics artists and engineers have had on their lives. When they go to the movies, the effects they see were created by brilliant engineers and artists in some behind-the-scenes corporation like Silicon Graphics. They don't see in the credits the list of all the myriad of artists who by their definition are not artists, but rather experts of the arcane arts they themselves do not care for or care to understand. When they drive their cars, they do not know of the bytes passing through the electronic circuits beneath their dashboard. They likely do not even know of the immense complexity within each device they plug in to their wall socket, for truly to the coders it matters not the device for which they write their code, but it is the act of the coding itself which enchants them.
Is it any wonder, then, that coders have a near-spiritual relation ship with their art? That they take secret joy in knowing the myriad of divine languages in which they speak to each other and speak to their machines; the language in which they chant incantions to conjure forth beings of their imagination. For every mundane, medial application, there is another which is spectacular, and which changes the lives of the people who use it, ever so subtly. The art of computer programming is aptly named "art".
I supposed the same could be said of any trade or craft. But, my craft is creating, creating the code, the code by which the mechanical slave performs for its audience. It is all I can do to hope that it is not so misunderstood for much longer.