What Is Programming – The 5 Principles of Defining Programming

1. Programming is a superpower (have you seen The Matrix?) as much as it is text on a blank screen, 1s and 0s, true and false, and electric bits flowing through a wire.

2. Programming is a way of life – thinking of things as indirection (people have names and social security numbers), reliability (2 arms, 2 legs, 2 eyes), speed (caching the clothes you wear most often), abstractions (birds and bees make children and honey trees), and space-time tradeoffs (do I want more shit at home or more time to buy experiences that I can share with people).

3. Programming is everywhere (medical fields, corn fields, war fields) – programming is even in transportation (a poem I wrote for Union Pacific):

Ladies and gentleman, BITS and BYTES,


Get up and hear me ITERATE.
Millions of people F5 now – ASSERT yourselves.
Put some JAVA in your OS or C if you like it best.
Take the QA TEST – to the next LINE now.
We’ll DEBUG you anyhow,
Traveling, like NODES on buses and trains
Waiting in soliloQUiES.
In case the COMPILER complains.
A part of a larger GRAPH,
United we RUN,
Alone we’re BUGS.
Can you PROCESS?
If the O is too slow,
COMPLEXITY too large.
Let me HASH it for you.
SORT it to its ROOTS.
Here’s a MAP to DECODE.
An ALGORITHM perhaps.
Why are trains and ADDRESSES so great you ask?
LINKS us to the LIST.
PUSHES us to the STACK.

Oh my-what a beautiful place- I see an ARRAY: HELLO WORLD!The code, it STRINGs us together now.Take a bow: flippity flappity FLOWThat’s all for now, until we CODE again;PROGRAMMERS till the very end!

4. Programming is an art as much as it is a science (making it neat on a great white sheet. keeping it simple, keeping it easy to read. open source, is the underdog force. making sure you have the right amount of brackets. making sure the hardware and software play together nicely).

5. Programming is insanity (from Jamie Forrest: “If you like oscillating between feeling like the stupidest person on earth and a fucking genius, you’ll love coding.”).

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