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Does Your Code Tell A Story?
H. Alan Stevens
A Desultory Philippic On Code Clarity
Machine Beauty: Elegance and the Heart of Technology
Beauty is more important in
computing than anywhere else
in technology because software
is so complicated.
Beauty is the ultimate defense
Beauty is the
Begin to write in
the dumb, awkward
way that an animal
cries out in pain.
You must feel that you
have permission to write
the worst junk in the world
and it would be okay.
Perfectionism is the voice
of the oppressor, the
enemy of the people.
It is the main obstacle to
your shitty first draft.
The counterfeit innovator is
wildly self confident.
The real one is scared to death.
Three Kinds Of Drafts
• The first draft is the “down draft” just get
• The second draft is the “up draft” clean it
• The third draft is the “dental draft” where
you carefully inspect each tooth.
When you write a story, you're
telling yourself the story.
When you rewrite, your main job is
taking out all the things that are
not the story.
Write with the door closed.
Rewrite with the door open.
The danger is greatest when
the finish line is in sight.
Once you know what the story
is and get it right, as right as
you can anyway, it belongs to
anyone who wants to read it.
When you finally realize what your
program is doing, you have to go back
and make it look like you knew that all
Make it look like it was easy to write
this program, even if it wasn’t.
“Mastering the Craft of Programming”
Beauty is the
Thanks For Listening!