Code is not your friend.

Hello world, and welcome to A Terrible Good: Software Development For Fun and Profit.

If you’ve been in software development for any length of time, you’ve surely succumbed to our most terrible disease: the tendency to see all problems as solvable by code. It’s a sort of myopia. The world becomes reduced to bits and bytes; zeroes and ones; mashed together with various logic operators to produce desired results.

Don’t believe me? Try talking to a non-coder and see how long it takes for their eyes to glaze over.

So that’s the downside: the tendency to lose touch, to see everything as a system, and to think code is the solution to all problems. (Even when the problem calls for a simple hammer.)

The upshot is that you and I have a terrific opportunity to do real good in the world – so long as we can step back and see the forest for the trees.

The key, I believe, is knowing, deep down inside, that code is not our friend.

Code is like fire. Used properly, it can power civilizations. Used improperly, we’ll bury ourselves in spaghetti code until we just hit the big delete key in the sky.

To paraphrase Einstein, we need as little code as possible, but no less.

Written on August 2, 2017