Code as Design (Redux)

In this article I proposed that coding is design and not construction. As usual I am late to the party, Jack Reeves pointed this out 13 years ago (thanks Charlie), it discussed extensively on c2.com (What Is Software Design and The Source Code Is The Design), and mentioned on many blogs.

The whole thing has depressed me a bit. I think our industry would be in a lot better shape if we had internalized this idea 10 years ago. Why is it that good ideas, like this one, do not take hold? Anyway, if you have not read those essays by Jack Reeves go do it now.

1 thought on “Code as Design (Redux)

  1. Wow!! WONDERFUL essays. It’s so great to hear someone express so well the things I’ve been thinking for a long time, but have heard few others express.

    His observations represent an epiphany for me as to why there’s sometimes an attitude in the industry that “coding” doesn’t involve designing, but is a grunt, junior level activity. It also explains why some people don’t understand my passion for this occupation and my desire to stay in it verses “rising up through the ranks.” They don’t see that there is important, challenging design work involved. It also might explain why I’ve seen so much poor quality code in my career. Maybe it’s because the industry doesn’t really give it the focus it deserves.

    Another epiphany is that refactoring is not an activity seperate from design, and not optional from design if you want a well behaved product. This is so obvious when you consider other engineer disciplines, and his point was great. I’ve always been an addicted re-factorer, even before refactoring was a buzz word. I think early on I thought this revealed a weakness in my own design abilities (and sometimes it probably did), but really it’s par for the course for anyone who is serious about producing a quality product.

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