My Name is Darius and I am a Codeaholic

For a long time, the tentative title for The Banana Book was “My name is Darius and I am a codeaholic”. I changed it when I realized that it conveyed a more essential message, namely one of failure of recipes, methodologies, and process-based silver bullets. The importance of code was merely a reaction to this failure: if the process does not matter that much, the resulting artefact – the code – must become the central point of attention.

Whatever the book’s title, I still care a lot for code, even though it is far less controversial a position today than it has been for years. I used to feel lonely with this obsession, my focus on programming languages and my fascination with executable artefacts over purely conceptual constructs. I was mocked as a geek by the fashionable know-it-alls of the day, when coding was supposed to be a mundane activity with little added value, best left to mumbling dorks with no communication skill except when talking to their computers.

But the tables have turned. Of all people, President Obama joined the flock and claimed that learning to write code was a matter of national importance. Even in today’s polarized United States where contradicting him has replaced baseball as the national pastime, no one whined about this being a non-constitutional-liberal-quasi-socialist-not-born-here conspiracy.

I should feel good about this evolution, kind of a “I told you so” moment. The world at large (even Barack Obama!) agrees with me. Convincing people on how best approach software development projects should no longer the infamous uphill battle it used to be.

In a nutshell, life should be great.

Except for global warming, rising inequalities, reality TV, the expanding universe, junk food, terrorist attacks, and more of the same. Let’s keep things in perspective…

But there remains an essential misconception regarding how and why code is important. It is not as simple as having everyone capable of writing code. As often in IT, going for the easy solution makes one miss a more convoluted but also more essential reality.

To be discussed on the next post on this blog. Stay tuned.

30-06-2016 - By in