So I'm reminded, as I click away here, of that cartoon where Dilbert ponders: How did people manage to look busy before the invention of the mouse?

In fact -- oh, my gosh, a nearly serious point -- in the world of IT, it has long been the case that managers who fail to hear lots of clicking and tapping from the developers start panicking. If someone's not typing in code, how can they possibly be working?

(Is anyone else old enough to remember when IT wasn't called that? And developers were programmers? Quiz question for 30 points: Which department did programmers work in 30 years ago?)

Staring into space is work. For writers, software developers, and anyone who's expecting to come up with something new -- or even needs to mentally rehearse a physical skill.

You software developers have the luxury of so much time to pore through the excellent Use Cases your analysts have created for you, don't you? And you spend ages reifying those specs into classes and components, then refactoring in the light of design patterns, not to mention architectural constraints, before typing in a line of code, don't you? And you surely write the test harnesses first, right?

And is that a Mexican swine flying past my window?

All of this is a preamble to mention that I should not be blogging yet, because I've got a book to write! I'm fifty thousand words into the second draft of ABSORPTION, being the first volume of the RAGNAROK trilogy. Second draft, for me, is a very kinaesthetic process: grappling with text, getting the right feel for the structure, cutting ruthlessly.

Okay, I'm enthused. Back to the grappling mat. Er, the other laptop. That's the one that's permanently offline to the internet/web. Me, paranoid?

Fly straight, Pilots.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer to your question about what department programmers used to work for 30 years ago - well in my case (okay 24 years ago) it was 'Data Processing' (or 'Dead Pizza' as one friend used to insist on calling it!)

June 18, 2009 at 9:10 PM  
Blogger John said...

Yay, Book Zombie, my favourite undead person! (I won't reveal your secret identity.)

Yep, that's the answer I was thinking of. And me too, of course. I also worked for a DP Department.

(Of course there is an alternative correct answer...)


June 19, 2009 at 3:34 PM  
Anonymous BillH said...

Call me an old timer, but it will always be Data Processing to me and I have processed more than a little data in my time!

Good luck with that second draft!

June 21, 2009 at 2:12 PM  

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