Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beautiful Code

As mentioned on the serna Book Blog, I recently read Beautiful Code, written by… well, written by a whole bunch of programmers who are smarter than I am. (Or better programmers, anyway.)

So I have devoted a series of posts to some of the concepts in the book that I found the most interesting. Here are the posts I included in this “series”:

And I’ll finish off with a quote from Brian Hayes, that I found especially poignant—and described my reaction to many of the concepts I read in this book:

In cartoons, the moment of discovery is depicted as a light bulb turning on in a thought bubble. In my experience, that sudden flash of understanding feels more like being thumped in the back of the head with a two-by-four. When you wake up afterwards, you’ve learned something, but by then your new insight is so blindingly obvious that you can’t quite believe you didn’t know it all along. After a few days more, you begin to suspect that maybe you did know it; you must have known it; you just needed reminding. And when you pass the discovery along to the next person, you’ll begin, “As everyone knows….”