The Reading: Hackers & Painters
This essay makes the argument that hackers are more similar to painters than scientists. Well, that’s great news! As I try to learn this thing called coding, it’s good to know it’s ok to be creative. In fact, I think it’s kind of funny how he thinks that hackers need to claim their right to “sketch” like painters do. From an art background it’s pretty obvious that making or creating anything requires a creative process.
It got me thinking… I sometimes wish that I could stomach the kind of work that scientists do. “Work that is perfect, then work that is original.” What an amazing amount of certainty and purpose! I never thought “debugging” would be something “relaxing” but, — he’s right — doing something with a definite goal could be the break I need from the creative unknown.
Another helpful tidbit was the suggestion for collaboration. It’s better to split a project into definite pieces and have each member own their piece. That way, everyone is accountable and doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. And also, that software (or any interaction for that matter) should explain itself. The user should never want to read the manual.
Onwards and Upwards.