Code Pace

In my view, programmers strive towards being able to sculpt processes in real time at the pace of their evolving understanding of what they’re trying to do.  That’s the zone, the flow state.  Today’s tools and environments are much better than yesterday’s and the trajectory of things in general give me every reason to anticipate that tomorrow’s will dwarf today’s all over again.  That expectation sometimes seems to be half of what drives the whole damn monster in the first place.

The more I write code the more clearly I butt up against certain realities of the process.  As programmers we typically use text editors to jump a cursor around a virtual 2-D surface that has all sorts of subtle little rules that inform the muscles at every turn of the geometry of the space.  There are other dimensions to this, other GUIs and various mappings.

Then there’re the ideas we’re structuring – what we’re really trying to do: to define and connect processes.  To build the infrastructure for those processes and their connections.   To get insight into what is happening as it happens.  To see what we’ve wrought to wring out the next.

It’s clear that this enterprise is and has always been entirely separate and totally disconnected from the tools used to carry it out.  Right now, around the world, the vast majority of programmers build logic via the mouse, keyboard and monitor.  Oh, these tools.

It’s important.  I’m not whining about RSI.  Rather, I encounter frequently the human brain and the stark realities of the ways it functions.  The more effort it takes to express an idea, the less get expressed.  The more ceremony that exists around a thing the more set-aside and the less frequent it becomes.

Even conversations have structure and can be well or poorly organized for the efficient communication and transformation of input into output.  In fact, when I look at things with unfocused eyes I can see that all the same problems that exist for coders exist for speakers.  Communication is complicated – there are so many things going on at the same time.   There is a stream of information being communicated and transformed by multiple intellects with varying vocabularies and degrees of familiarity with the subject matter while simultaneously, a bunch of posturing bodies shifting their positions on what is being said and their relationship to the evolving trajectory of the subconscious consensus field.  Conversations can have flow state too.

In this way, the dual advancements of technology and scientific understanding are both in the service of this single end – getting out of the way those details that slow down the transformation of will into effect – communication.  This is something that is happening at the global scale because it is happening at the individual scale and individuals organize into global networks that feedback evolving behaviors to those individuals.

Wizards in utero.

I’m a Princess Programmer

I’ve been programming professionally for eight years now.  Something I encountered early on was the non-programmer business professional’s appraisal that programmers are “princesses”.  I always bridled at that, but now I identify.

I actually don’t have the time to write a pretty blog post.  I never do anymore.  Nevertheless, I’ll just say that being a “princess programmer” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  The very thing that makes a programmer a “princess” is the very thing that makes them good.

For instance, I realized, I don’t like to program without 4 monitors, 3 of which must be in portrait mode.  Also, I require a mechanical keyboard with at least two mice, left and right, at least one of which is a Logitech smooth scroller.  I prefer my keyboard to be “10 keyless” (no numpad).  I also have expectations about the speed of my computer and my graphics card and the updatedness of the programs I use to program programs.

I am a princess programmer.

But… I am also absurdly effective.  I’m worth two of me.  I am good at developing workflows, yours and mine.  I have workflows that I use to develop your workflows.  I develop workflows at levels of detail that bring you to tears.  I develop workflows at the level of my workflow-building tools.

Understandably, my tools are important to me.  My various hammers beat out your various hammers.

Call us princesses.  Call us soldiers.  You can’t win your war without us.  Don’t complain about how sharp we’ve become accustomed to our swords being when you expect us to cut through iron.