The Twin Demons of Programmers

by Krishna on September 3, 2009

Two somewhat conflicting needs of programmers:

  1. Write as little code as possible.
  2. Reduce coupling as much as possible.

I wonder if they can ever be achieved together entirely, but one thing that seems to be happening is that Item (2) is getting done with more and more functionality getting into the software environment (operating system, virtual machine, web framework). And so Item (1), the code that the programmer writes is shrinking.

At the same time, because we have more wants and needs, the functionality we demand increases. So you still end up writing a lot of code. Which is perhaps a good thing in one sense, because if the amount of programming was negligible, why would you need programmers?

I like the attitude of some programmers where they strive to write really concise code, but I wonder what would happen if they could shrink their codebase to one line of code, and thereby put themselves out of work.

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