Friday, April 07, 2006 9:15 AM
Thanks to Virginia Postrel
for pointing out this rather interesting post about the aesthetics of code
What prompted this post--and it's whimsical title--is a post by Jamis Buck titled Beautiful code, test first, which includes the following:
"He was telling me how he feels like he has to sit and tweak his code over and over until it not only acts right, but looks right. It cannot be merely functional, it must be beautiful, as well."
But the best part was a comment by "Morten" that included the line:
"As for spending too much time on making the code look right down to the last indentation - my code has been called "girl code" for the same reason..."
Frankly, I don't know if gender really has anything to do with it, but I do firmly believe that there are people in general who code in this fashion, and that certain programming languages cater to this desire. A number of years ago, I saw this post on who a typical C# programmer is
When we talk about “code focused” this meant a couple of things to us. First, the users we watched were very persnickety about their code. For example, they would spend a lot of time formatting their code the way they wanted. They would write a block of code, and then go back and indent it the way they wanted. They would copy code from somewhere, and then format it in their editor before they even read it. There just seems to be a sense that the code itself can be beautiful, and code that was ugly, and here I mean was formatted in the wrong way, was fixed up.
The other part of being code focused has to do with the way they see the designers and other parts of the Visual Studio tools that were not code editors. For instance, the Windows Form designer. Many developers look at programming as designing a form, and then writing “code behind” that makes the form work. The form itself is the program, and the code is annotations that make the program do what they want. The Visual C# developers, however, tend to think of the Windows Form designer as a code generator. For example, we saw one developer use the form design and the sever explorer to bind to data. Then he went in and cut out all the generated data code and put it into it’s own class. He didn’t mind using the generated code, but the code was his, not the form’s. Furthermore, he couldn’t live with having the data code embedded in the UI code, he just had to factor it out or he wouldn’t have slept well that night.
So what some interpret as a "girly coder"... just might mean you're code focused.