Aesthetics and quality

Beautiful things are easier to use.

We can also apply this to technical designs. This often surprises a non-technical audience, but techies will recognize the beauty that can be present in technical solutions.

For example, symmetrical diagrams not only give a quick insight into an orderly, robust solution but are often also very appealing to the eye.

Symmetrical and well-colored diagrams are easier to read and understand.

Old PowerPoint presentations using the standard suggested colors were horrendously ugly, and I am sure the people using these colors did not want to be understood. (Nowadays, PowerPoint comes with more pleasing color schemes)

The success of the Python programming language is not in the least its forced readability. No crazy abbreviations as in C that make code unreadable (but programmers look very smart).

Beautiful code (yes, such a thing exists) is easier to read and understand.

If a
Then b
Else If c
Then d
Else If e
Then f


Case a
Case c
Case e

It is pretty evident.

But do we care about the quality and beauty of code nowadays? Throw-away software is abundant. Software systems are built with the idea to throw them out and replace them within a few years.

Ursus Wehrli
Image by Ursus Wehrli

That is the idea. But the Lindy effect tells us differently.

Good programming is a profession that should be appreciated as such. Bad coding may be cheap, but only in the short run.

We don’t hire a moonlighter to build our house. We employ an architect and a construction professional who can make a comfortable house that can be used for generations.

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