Writing Code – Similar to Writing Poetry

I came accross a very interesting view of Richard Gabriel:
http://java.sun.com/features/2002/11/gabriel_qa.html

His points:

  • “(…) because you can program well or poorly, and because most of it is creative (in that we don’t really know what we’re doing when we start out), my view is that we should train developers the way we train creative people like poets and artists.”
  • “(…) what do people do when they’re being trained, for example, to get a Master of Fine Arts in poetry? They study great works of poetry. Do we do that in our software engineering disciplines? No. You don’t look at the source code for great pieces of software. Or look at the architecture of great pieces of software. You don’t look at their design. You don’t study the lives of great software designers. So, you don’t study the literature of the thing you’re trying to build.”

Richard Gabriels website: http://www.dreamsongs.com
There you can find more interesting articles and downloads:

  • “Richard Hugo, the 20th century poet and writing teacher wrote about the use of triggers in creative work. A trigger is any idea, scene, image, thought, sound, smell, or memory that by its ‘appearance’ in a mind causes that mind to create something. A trigger can end up being a metaphor, a reminder, a stepping stone, an association, or anything that sparks connections to the creative mind. Hugo almost goes so far as saying that all creativity is really just an ability and willingness to take up the thread a trigger provides.”