Recently, Roy Bahat, president of IGN Entertainment, wrote about why he’s learning to code. This part of his post, coming from someone who isn’t a programmer by profession, was especially insightful:
Every time I open my editor, I’m reminded that I can’t just “jump in for a few minutes” the way I can with my usual work – either because coding isn’t like that, or because I’m not good enough yet. It takes me time to rev up, remember what I was supposed to be doing and how it fits together.
How often have you had to explain to someone who isn’t a programmer that you can’t just dive in and start coding right away? That it takes some time for you to settle down with the program and become really productive? That a single 3-hour stretch of uninterrupted coding could never be substituted by three one-hour blocks separated by meetings?
I wish everyone who enters software industry – in non-programming roles – would understand the fact that a programmer’s day isn’t neatly split into neat 60-minute blocks in Microsoft Outlook calendar. The only way they could understand is if they tried writing some code of their own. Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to happen in most software companies.
PS. I just noticed another great article on Roy’s blog on the same topic: Learning to code might become a basic job requirement. Do read it.
Paul Graham has written an article about the same topic – Maker’s Schedule.