Guy Steele on Programming as Magic

I think it's not an accident that we often use the imagery of magic to describe programming. We speak of computing Wizards and we think of things happening by magic or automagically. And I think that's because being able to get a machine to do what you want is the closest thing we've got in technology to adolescent wish-fulfillment.

And if you look at the fairy tales, people want to be able to just think in their minds what they want, wave their hands, and it happens. And of course the fairy tales are full of cautionary tales where you forgot to cover the edge case and then something bad happens.


Programming computers provides the individual total control over a system, a kind of magic that appeals to young minds.

Folksonomies: computer science magic

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 Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Seibel , Peter (2009-09-16), Coders at Work: Reflections on the Craft of Programming, Apress, Retrieved on 2011-04-21
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: information technology programming computer science


    02 JUL 2015

     CitC 08 Rely on Your Digital Natives

    Why you should let your students figure it out for you.
    Folksonomies: education coding
    Folksonomies: education coding