I've been giving talks
about Beautiful Code
for ten months now. Mostly I talk about how the project came to be, and a few of my favorite chapters, but I end with this:
My father built most of the house that I grew up in. My mother made ever sweater I wore until I was 28. My older brother made my wife's wedding ring; my sister made the quilt my daughter sleeps under, and my younger brother made the desk I'm sitting at right now. I'm proud to come from a family that makes things, and makes them well. I'd like my daughter to be proud of the things that I make, but when I think back on all the code I've written my twenty-eight years of programming, there's nothing I can point at and say, "I'd like to be remembered for that."
So let's throw it out as a new meme. If your obituary was going to be a few pages of code that you'd written, an architecture diagram, or some screenshots, can you think of something you'd be happy with? And if you can't, what does that say about us and our profession?