The Passions of Programming
“We’re looking for passionate programmers!” says the job ad. For a love-in or a development role? ‘Passion’ is used to evoke single-mindedness, drive and intensity, but it also has many other meanings, surely not all of which can be intended. Love aside, passion also spills over into irrationality, aggression — crimes of passion — and unconditional and unquestioning pursuit. Our acceptance of this word and this quality should be partial and conditional. But there is more than one kind of passion, and when raw passion is tempered with compassion and dispassion we start to see a more balanced way of development.
Good development draws on both creativity and rationality, on both focus and connection, on both individual skill and group intelligence. The dry language of productivity needs to admit the possibility of enjoyment; the culture of burn-out needs to give way to humanity. Let’s explore the many passions of programming.