Cottage Computer Programming

November 19, 2009

Via Suzanne: a fascinating autobiographical article by Paul Lutus.

You may have heard about me. In the computer business I’m known as the Oregon Hermit. According to rumor, I write personal computer programs in solitude, shunning food and sleep in endless fugues of work. I hang up on important callers in order to keep the next few programming ideas from evaporating, and I live on the end of a dirt road in the wilderness. I’m here to tell you these vicious rumors are true.

Personal favorite line?

Also, I’ve been told that good programmers rarely have mates. This is usually offered as evidence of how asocial we are. Without fail, we’re pictured as disheveled cyber-hobos hanging around computer centers, shunning serious relationships, coding for the sake of coding. I can’t really disagree with this view, but there is something interesting behind it-at least for me. I began to notice, as I got more involved with computers, that acceptance by the machine required absolute precision on my part. The slightest misstep caused the instant erasure of many hours of work; the machine would reject everything with perfect dispassion until each detail was just right. Then the program would suddenly function beautifully, and never fail again… The result of this strange relationship was that for a time I became too spoiled for the flesh-and-blood women around me. I got tired of hearing, "If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times-the answer is maybe!"

Comments are closed.