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egoless programming

tonetheman profile image Tony Colston ・2 min read

I saw this link from a hnews discussion here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22864109

The original story is here: http://wiki.c2.com/?EgolessProgramming

My take on egoless programming (which I have had this opinion for as long as I could remember) is that code is transient and does not matter in the least.

I can write code and it will exist and some (changed) form of it will run and do something. But at the point I have written it and it is starting to do the job I wrote it for ... it feels like it is not part of me anymore. I have only a vague connection to the running thing that is my code.

So naturally criticizing or changing my code or fixing my code or replacing my code does not bother me in the least.

I picked up this attitude (I think) from when I was a musician many years ago. I found that I could play and sing and what would come out of mouth or from my hands would entertain people most of the time. Sometimes I imagine it horrified them too or made them ill. :)

But either way once I had sung/played music it left me. It was no longer my choice as to how people reacted.

I also used to be an artist ... maybe I still am. And my art was the same way. I could paint something and make it look like what I wanted but I could not control how people reacted to it. So even my art was completely separate. I was delighted that it was liked at all but never hurt if it was not.

Let go of your code it is not you.

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Tony Colston

@tonetheman

wanna be gamedev ... all around nerd and dev

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But at the point I have written it and it is starting to do the job I wrote it for ... it feels like it is not part of me anymore. I have only a vague connection to the running thing that is my code.

An honorable goal, but I don't think it's easy/possible to achieve for mortals like me! :D :P We can aim for it, though. :-)