Programming is writing

A rock in the sea, surrounded by a crust of thin ice.

When you write programs, you have two audiences: the humans who read the code and the computers that analyze and execute the code. The both audiences have to understand the code.

Humans read programs like a hypertext1: not from start to end but by jumping around following references.

For humans, the careful choice of terminology is of utmost importance. Consistency matters. The computers do not care. They care about the grammar, though.

Elegant programs are easy for humans to understand and easy for computers to execute.

Psst: Math is programming, ergo math is writing.

  1. A well-known example of a hypertext is Wikipedia↩︎

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