The Practices of Programming — Ilias Bergström

This is a strange paper, a bit like Titus’s yesterday, in that there is no tool or evaluation, just ideas. Ilias has tried to describe a number of “practices” or programming, forms that programming can take.

Software engineering After the “software crisis” in the 60s, Software Engineering emerged with more structured processes, that lead to paradigms and then tools.

Bricolage and Tinkering When you are learning programming, do you have a plan? Probably not? Kids like tinkering and breaking thing, and sometimes you will leave more confused. The goal is not to fix a broken radio, but to learn how it works.

Sketching with code Often, code is used as a form of thinking, sketching, without a clear plan or goal.

Live Coding Using code as a performance form, where the experience, in a sense, is the output.

Hacking Hacking nowadays has many meaning, but Ilias means modifying closed-source software to make it perform differently.

Code-Bending is a hardware practice originally, where machine are being rewires, and Ilias in his dissertation adapted it to software as well.

How do the practices differ?

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The goal of this work is not to be a definitive guide, but to provide a framework for thinking about programming, and to stress the fact that there are different forms of programming, and one if not better than the other. A future goal could be to combine practices.

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The paper has a lot of references to the papers these categories are based on but I could not find a preprint :'(