Notes Antic Disposition

Most Programmers Are Stupid

More on the inevitability of crap code from the perspective that the smartest programmers actually write some of the worst code. Mea Culpa:

It is an easy trap to fall into. Programming requires a certain kind of analytical intelligence. Being more intelligent in that way increases your programming ability exponentially. It is emotionally satisfying to think of yourself as a different species from the average programmer. Programming becomes a demonstration of your superior intellect. Surely such powers shouldn’t be wasted on mundane chores, but instead applied to timeless works of brilliant inspiration, to be admired by the common programmer only through protective eyewear.

Clarity and simplicity succeeds – hence why Rails was able to cross such a critical threshold, while none of the other extraordinary and clever web frameworks of the last 6 years made it so far (like the story of Reddit ditching Lisp and rebuilding their site in Python).

Particularly, dirty simple hacks get the job done. That is why Perl was king of the web for 10 years, and why Ruby is so successful now, because the Ruby language grew directly from the same heritage of text processing on Unix systems.

That is also also why node.js is the hotness of the moment. Javascript with a strongly event driven heritage is a natural language for hacking the plumbing that spans browsers and servers. It is just the right balance of structure and messiness for masterpieces that are built in the network, rather than any one individual piece of code being the masterpiece.