Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Art of Software Creation

To me it is highly arguable whether software creation is an art. In the early days, the challenge of software was to find the most efficient or the most effective algorithms to crack a mathematical problem. Nowadays, most of the creative art has made place for crafted engineering: integrating existing concepts and technologies into new systems.

Nerds and wizkids, able to work in isolation and inventing the most unexpected solutions have been replaced by architects and engineers working together in efficient social structures to build and integrate predictable results in a predictable way. Beauty and cleverness have been replaced by control and productivity.

Did all the fun disappear then? No, it has changed. Instead of being a soloistic challenge (like athletics), software development has become a team challenge (like football). And instead of breaking world records time after time, the objective is to play in the champions league beating the competition. It requires completely different strategies and tactics. To me, being in a winning team is more fun than being better than everybody else.

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