The role of a programmer, irrespective of technology, is that of a liturgist.
For reasons both humanist and ecological, we all need to reconsider Luddism. As Ben Tarnoff says in his recent Guardian piece: "To decarbonize, we need to decomputerize." He is absolutely right, and as I have said before, if we don't nurture that change internally, it will be forced onto us externally as social, economic, and technical institutionalism crumble under the weight of climate collapse.
It is time to take up the task of decoupling Information Technologies roles from digital terrain. What does it look like when you point a programmer at a problem but don't let them use a computer? What happens when digitization is just one tool in a larger collection of information technologies being imagined, trained, and maintained by an IT department?
What are we without our computers?
Programmer's are the keepers of ritual. We design the abstract into the material and people it diversely with compassionately trained users. We imagine, design, and dictate repeatable patterns of behavior that capture arbitrary qualities as material objects to do the business of naturalist thinking. We speak a profound and academic language, rich in symbolism and multiple meanings; it is inaccessible to our congregations. We are the mediators of the arcane into the mundane, and populate daily life with enchantment and animation. In as much as our code has the ability to make meaning, it is identical to the ways in which liturgy and ritual make meaning.
The work of expression, the creation of a fabulous environment to derive experience from, is not, however, the first or most pressing operation employing the religious mind. Its first business is rather the work of propitiation; before we stop to contemplate the deity we hasten to appease it, to welcome it, or to get out of its way. Cult precedes fable and helps frame it, because the feeling of need or fear is a practical feeling, and the ideas it may awaken are only incidental to the reactions it prompts. Worship is therefore earlier and nearer the roots of religion than dogma is.
-The Life of Reason Vol VII Book 3: Reason in Religion, by George Santayana