Zorba the Hutt (zorbathut) wrote,
Zorba the Hutt
zorbathut

The Tao of Programming

Actually, there's some pretty good advice in there - some of it even applicable beyond programming.

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There once was a master programmer who wrote unstructured programs. A novice programmer, seeking to imitate him, also began to write unstructured programs. When the novice asked the master to evaluate his progress, the master criticized him for writing unstructured programs, saying, "What is appropriate for the master is not appropriate for the novice. You must understand the Tao before transcending structure."

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Prince Wang's programmer was coding software. His fingers danced upon the keyboard. The program compiled without an error message, and the program ran like a gentle wind.

``Excellent!'' the Prince exclaimed, ``Your technique is faultless!''

``Technique?'' said the programmer turning from his terminal, ``What I follow is Tao - beyond all techniques! When I first began to program I would see before me the whole problem in one mass. After three years I no longer saw this mass. Instead, I used subroutines. But now I see nothing. My whole being exists in a formless void. My senses are idle. My spirit, free to work without plan, follows its own instinct. In short, my program writes itself. True, sometimes there are difficult problems. I see them coming, I slow down, I watch silently. Then I change a single line of code and the difficulties vanish like puffs of idle smoke. I then compile the program. I sit still and let the joy of the work fill my being. I close my eyes for a moment and then log off.''

Prince Wang said, ``Would that all of my programmers were as wise!''
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