Code Between Us
We look at many things in life that bring us together. We look at music and what that does for people and how it brings people together. Food is one of my favorites that does the same thing. These things are many, fashion, food, music, literature. The list goes on and these are to name a few.
But why do these things connect us. They act as a conduit between worlds. So let’s qualify what a world is. In what I am describing this is the small ecosystem of friends and family, places and events that is your world. Currently my world is a rural community that boarders the city and farmlands. And as you the reader of this it will be different. But to get back to the conduit. These cross cutting things that bring these worlds together.
We mentioned a few at the beginning of this, food, fashion, music, etc. But what about code. But first let’s take a moment to level set on code. No, we are not talking about movies, books or whatever. We are talking about the code we write to tell computers what to do. No language in particular. So this isn’t about if Java is better than .NET. We are not doing that here or ever if you ask me. But coding in general.
If we look at code. Let’s take it manifest function. Code which is human readable and complied or interpreted to machine code. So this is when you start thinking how the hell does this have anything to do with music or food? I am getting there relax. Code, as we look at it is personal. Ever go through a code review? Or pair up with someone who you knew or felt was way out of your league? Yeah, the person you don’t want looking at your code. You, solved something with your code a certain way. At the time you wrote it this made sense.
But as we can never see the forest from the tree as we write code, everyone knows it could be better. We know it, we either can admit it or not. So if we look at someone’s code and how they go there in writing it. What stresses they were under. Where and how did they learn how to structure a service. These are all marks on who this person is and how they wrote the code they did.
When you break down to, is this because of the stress they were under or how they learned to code. Or can it be something else. Me, I love when it is something else.
I have had the honor to work with people from all across the globe. From the PRC to Ireland, I have seen their code or better wrote code with them. How they write, read and critique code has been different. What I learned with all these people I have worked with is that code was our music, or food or even fashion. I learned about them through this.
Not only the person I was coding with. But from where they were from. Developers from many countries, cultures and background. But what was more to me is the ones from my country, that came from different backgrounds and cultures. This opened up an understanding of what they go through that I don’t or even cannot see. But what connected us, was what we did, code. If we loved it or not. And yes I still love it.
It isn’t only the code that denotes this. Code is the first part but it is also how they explain it. How they help explain their code. It starts a story on how they got to the same place you did but most of the time it is no where close to the way you did. Code isn’t as flavorful as food, elegant as music or stylish as fashion. But it connects people to computer and people to people.
When you review someones code and it’s not up to standard, ask, dig to find out how they got there. Sure it could be cause they copied from StackOverflow but it could be a different reason. And that can start a conversation that can open you up to someone you thought you knew but didn’t. Code connects us with computers but it connects us with each other. Next time you are paring, or doing a code review. Take the time to dig in and learn why your cohort did what they did in that code. This is an amazing conversation starter and it helps you learn about who you are working with.