Thursday, February 28, 2008

Myth Busting

One popular myth people recite is "I do no programming" meaning of course that "writing in a computer language" is not a part of their job description and/or lifestyle, nevermind if they'd like it to be.

On the other hand, we Quakers speak of programmed versus unprogrammed Friends, referring to some differences going back some hundreds of years.

Likewise, when you walk into a theater, you may be handed something called a Programme (perhaps spelled in that funny way).

Apparently there's some meaning for "programming" that "writing computer language" doesn't quite cover.

This, then, is a mental exercise to try on for size: go around saying to yourself "I am a programmer" and see if you get that to mean something.

If you write software, OK, you're done. But maybe not so fast? Play with other meanings.

If you've never touched a computer, maybe you'll have a more interesting time of it.

Remember, in the television industy, programming refers not only to content, but to the sequence of that content, vis-a-vis the sequences used by other content providers (so-called "channels").

The Internet is not a mirror image of the early days of commercial television in the US, when three major network affiliations were prevalent: ABC, CBS, NBC. Don't be too facile with the analogies.

However, that being said, think of your ordinary day as a "scenario" and how you plan ahead of time, to some degree (yes, exceptions happen).

In that sense at least, you might be a "programmer" (no?) i.e. someone who imposes at least some degree of order on both the content and sequence of events. Welcome to the club in that case.