Programmers Are Like Zen Monks…

Posted by admin on April 28th, 2013 filed in Development, Java

… they can’t come up with a punchline for this heading either.

I was talking to a non-techie colleague once and tried to explain the point of view of developers to him… The gist I wanted to convey was that the developers’ decisions that he questioned were not made arbitrarily to annoy non-techie team members.

I recalled this strange idea that programming was like a mysterious ritual that will make sense after you have learned more about the foreign culture and value system it stems from… Like Zen monks who speak in riddles… now where did I get that mental image from?

Ah! I recalled a friend had sent me a link to a geeky page that does a great job to show up the parallels between profound developer talk and Koans. :-) The artwork is phantastic too (make sure you don’t miss the pretty navigation).
codeless code
Here are excerpts of some stories that I liked:

At the top of the diving cliff, the eldest of the monks peered over the edge and shrank back. … With his staff Banzen prodded the youth forward towards the precipice. “Surely,” said the master, “you can solve that problem when you reach the bottom.”
Read Koan: The Backwards Monk

“I am afraid to touch anything, lest my ignorance prove my undoing.” — “Fear makes good armor but a poor blade,” nodded the Java master. “To defeat your fear, we must dispel your ignorance.”
Read Koan: Fear

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