on code, plumbing, evil, and CODODN

2009-04-19 @ 13:35#

i had a good time yesterday @ CODODN. met lots of very friendly folks and saw some good speakers.

the keynote by Josh Holmes on "The Lost Art of Simplicity" was very good. my favorite quote from the talk: "Simplicty is not a goal. Simple is the by-product of a good idea."

however, i must confess that i perceived a somewhat worrisome trend while attending the sessions; too much code.

i've spent the last couple years working to reduce the amount of code i write. even to the point of trying to use existing utility apps and scripting to solve problems instead of writing new code that i have to debug and maintain over time.

but i saw a rather different focus when i attended the sessions yesterday.

XAML, Dependency Injection, and TDD all seem to be showing that more code is the answer to existing problems. i don't deny that each of these technologies has a place - an important place for many - in the life of a coder. but that's the thing. i don't want a life as a 'coder.' i want to design, build, and deploy solutions. and the less code i need to do that, the better.

i can see how these approaches appeal to those stuck spending their lives coding all day. but instead of trying to improve the task of coding, i think we should be working to reduce the code itself. a common theme in Microsoft talks used to be the need to 'reduce the plumbing code' so as to release developers from tedious, repetitive work. it's a great thought. but i don't see enough of it in real life. in fact, AFAICT, recent development efforts from MSFT have increased the amount of plumbing code needed to get work done; not reduced it.

and this is no reflection on the quality of the speakers, either. very smart folks who have a real grasp of the pain developers face when trying to do quality work in a timely manner. but this code-bloat has got to stop. or we're all gonna get crushed under the weight of our own creations.

ok, who's with me? "NO MORE CODE!"