Reflections After 7 Days of Coding

As a newcomer to the field of coding, I’ve had several gut reactions:

1) Coding feels human

Non-coders frequently think of coding (as other technical disciplines) as far removed from other creative, artistic or expressive fields. We imagine dark rooms filled with the buzzing of servers.

My immersion in it has proven the contrary: building anything is a fulfilling experience because it gives the architect the experience of going from nothing to something — it requires imagination.

Debugging is like writing and struggling to find the right word.

2) There is magic in the code — really

As a child, I would wonder about the concept of magic. I thought it was a cool idea, but could never feel comfortable with the notion of “abracadabra” — that some specific words or gestures would do something inexplicable. These words or gestures themselves have no further atomizable operations and that just never make sense. Coding bridges this gap.

Coding shows the methods behind the curtain operating the smokes and mirrors. Constructing an application that works also has the feel of wizardry. Methods and techniques are modern-day spells. They are the basis by which we weave more complex magic. Thus it is true that any sufficiently advanced technology appears to be magic.

3) Impact is inevitable

Philosophy has tried to understand what are the most general truths we may know. Some critics say that philosophy has been ineffective because words are too fuzzy to allow for meaningful conclusions that have impact. For more, see: Paul Graham’s essay ‘How to do Philosophy’

Coding is a relatively new discipline by which simple logic can affect the world — not by analyzing it to death, but by providing new capabilities and creations that cannot but affect the world around us.

Taking in sum, the human intellect cannot but continue to express itself into reality. In this encounter with it, we all benefit. Truth becomes apparent through creation. We know what is true, because we create it. And we can only create that which was always already true.