Software development is like – uh – anything!
Occasionally I run into a blog post in Google Reader that makes me sit up straight as I’m punched in the face by the integrity and originality of the writer. It’s that one post that makes digging through the noise of hundreds of me-toos and hear-me-shout-my-beliefs and finding the signal of a humble and practical person who just so happens to write what I needed to hear when I needed it.
The latest serendipitous finding was http://codebetter.com/drusellers/2011/02/22/a-conference-i-want-to-go-to. It makes slogging through 15 different table sort implementations using jQuery worthwhile. The idea that by looking outside or our young industry we can find much inspiration and improve our situation is not new but the examples given and the genuine humility displays is refreshing. What we do as software developers is not new or special. We operate in a specialty(the software part) but development has existed in humanity forever. By looking at other profession with a programmer’s eye we can share the meta about what we do without getting bogged down in details. We can cross-pollinate ideas that took others decades to learn.
Unfortunately, I have the feeling that it would be impossible to skip to the good parts and not have the pain and learning along the way. That whole nothing worthwhile is easy and other empty sayings. If nothing else it would help to close the language gap between professions and go a long way towards preventing the onset of the “just” disease. As in “It’s just a little website. Can’t it be done by the end of today?” or “It’s just a disease, can’t you just diagnose and cure it?”.