September 4th, 2009


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HP Spoilers

What being a programmer is like

The basic one I like to use when describing programming in general is that programs are kind of like player pianos (self-playing pianos).

Someone comes to the programmer and says "Hey, I want a piano that plays a song that sounds like this" and the programmer goes and gets the paper that the player pianos use and he starts punching holes in it.

When he wants to hear how it sounds, he has to play it through his piano a few times. If he's done it a bunch, he probably can get a lot of it done without listening to it once.

Then when he's done programming the song and it sounds exactly like what the user described, he takes it back to the user and the user says he actually wanted a hamburger, not a player piano song.

From this discussion of how to explain programming to non-techies.