Will new ecosystems make us, programmers, feel human again?

Programming, Magic or Boredom? — Part 3

Photo by McGill Library on Unsplash

“I hear a soft beeping coming from a bit further away. A quick glance at my HUD reveals an automatically highlighted issue. I start walking towards the sound, and soon see a blinking warning light on one of the machines. Ah, already spotted what’s wrong here… The machine, which is responsible for billing credit cards, is missing a connection to a receipt generator. I’ll fix it by connecting a wire from the nearby receipt generator to the billing machine. Ta-da! Dependencies injected. To make sure that the machine is really okay (it does look a bit rusty), I should take a peek at its code panel. Yes, seems like the source code of this machine needs some tweaking, too. I’ll grab my physical keyboard, and make some minor adjustments. As I close the code panel, I realise the beeping has stopped. The green light assures me that the fix is working. I will ask my colleague to inspect the changes before committing them to the production version of the factory. Time for some lunch!”

A prototype of a 3D software visualisation I have been working on (applied to a real life project).
  1. Spot visual cues. We can make things reflect their state. Lots of code = a big machine. What about a piece of code that no one has touched for a long time? Add some cobweb to it. Some minor code convention mistake — add a bit of rust to the machine’s surface. Poor performance — the animation runs slowly and forcefully. And if you come across the most horrible spaghetti code spanning hundreds of lines? Well, make it look like a monster which is going to explode soon, taking down the whole factory.
  2. Focus. If there’s actually something that needs attention, you will probably need to edit the source code. Thus you should not be too distracted because of other things. Switch off everything else, and let that code dance on the screen! Also, a keyboard is the best tool (that I know of) for editing text, and now would be a good time to grab this specially crafted equipment (to avoid a sad 3D UI for inputting text).
  3. Collaborate. It’s an explicitly shared experience, a shared world. Things are not only happening on your laptop anymore. You can be in the same place, pointing out small details (code) and planning an overall structure (architecture) with your colleagues.

Technology, Startups, Sharing Economy, Esotericism, Psychotechnology.

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