I’ve started work on a short project requiring the use of a scripting language. Sadly (ok, embarassignly), I don’t have any real scrtipting languages in my arsenal. So this afternoon, I rolled up my sleeves and set my sights on learning Python. Hopefully I’ll have opportunity to post more thoughts on it soon, but as I was reading an evangelicalistic article about Python, I came across this gem. It’s an oldie, but a goodie.

Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they’re much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code.

When this author set out to write an article about Python, he didn’t endeavour to write a user’s manual. He wanted his words to inspire curiousity and thought.

I am inherently in the bridge building business. Businesses employ me to help them cross a divide they can’t cross on their own. How do I train myself to naturally consider the beauty of my work?

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