Programming is oddly paradoxical

The part of it that is compelling and interesting is in design and implementation. It’s the same interesting thing you get in any creative endeavor: coming up with good ideas and novel solutions and efficient approaches to problems. That’s fun and interesting and even exhilarating.

The part of programming that sucks is error-checking and fixing. It’s grunt work and largely a derivative of syntactic elements. I absolutely hate it. There’s nothing really interesting involved in it. It’s not stimulating staring at where the compiler has thrown you a highly uninformative error message.

This, probably more than anything else, is what drove me out of computer science. I love the design work. I’ve recently been discovering the joys of developing XML schema and XSL style sheets. It’s downright fun and fascinating and because it doesn’t involve programming (XPath is not programming) there’s no debugging. I love doing design specs, I love designing interfaces. I just hate the drudge work that accompanies implementation.

Surely there’s a way to get rid of that. Though I’ve got no idea what it is. I bet if I found it, though, I’d be rich quick. It would be the key to both enjoyable programming and quite possible wide-spread computer literacy (in the sense that users can read and write it).

Thomas

One Response to “Programming is oddly paradoxical”

  1. taiji_jian says:

    There is. Get it right the first time.

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