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Constructive Laziness

Posted by Michael Patterson on November 11, 2014 at 1:20 AM

While I don't claim to be a great programmer, I try to imitate one. An important trait of the great ones is constructive laziness.

-The Cathedral and the Bazaar


For those that don’t understand coding, it essentially breaks the rules. In coding, borrowing code, whether your own, or others is not only okay, its recommended. One of the first skills coders learn is how to import libraries of code that they didn’t write. Unlike mathematics classes where the routine calculations must be performed again and again with precision to get a result. In programming, one only needs to translate the desired equation or process into computer speak, and voila, a specialized calculator is born. Even calculus problems made from nightmares can be conquered with ease. Programming allows us to leverage and build upon the power of decades of genius’s to make more powerful tools. If only writing was so easy.

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1 Comment

Reply Joseph Cotton
5:00 PM on November 22, 2014 
I don't think that the thing you are describing should be dubbed "constructive laziness." In all honesty, that puts it in the wrong light. Rather, I think that the idea of sharing code is more Zionistic: people willingly choose to contribute so that their efforts can help make the whole of humanity better. This is a fundamentally different idea, because the coder actively chooses to contribute his work so that other can be benefit from it. (Actually, it would be nice if a lot of other aspects in life followed this same mentality ;) ).