Poetry & Programming

Nov 3, 2012 by

Poetry & Programming

As I was sitting in front of my desk at work and designing a 3D viewer for small molecules I suddenly realized something – programming and poetry are very similar.

I have always loved poetry and the reason being that it conveyed so much thought and emotion in such an elegant way. One line could tell a whole story.

Most of the time poetry could be very abstract and I think that is the beauty of it because it gives the reader a chance to interpret it the way he or she desires.

Now you may say okay but how does that make it similar to programming – and here is how: there can be millions of programs written to solve a single problem but when it comes down to choosing the best then it shall be the one with less lines.

In programming just like in poetry elegance is highly valued. I never feel at ease when I write a program and it looks long-winded and repetitive. I revise it until it looks short and most of all organized.

Expressing a group of ideas in one simple line is a very powerful thing to me. I have always admired Spartans when learning ancient history and I think the reason was and still is that they were expected to be men of few words.

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  • InnovaTonic

    Thank you for the kind words and thank you for your help!


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    • InnovaTonic

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  • Ali

    Great way of thinking but in comparison poetry is still higher as you mention millions of programs for one problem whereas one set of poetry can tackle millions of problems…. in supporting your view i must say its kind of a key for programmers to be successful ….

    • InnovaTonic

      haha nice twist I like it! Absolutely programming can never reach poetry in that sense. My main goal was to emphasize how much elegance is valued in both.