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Lee Brandt's Blog You're only as smart as your last line of code

I've thought about this from time-to-time and thought I'd share this thought. I feel like software development is a lot like acting. Not in the "there are a lot of out-of-work programmers" kind of way either. I mean, in the way that we approach our craft.2007AcademyAwardStatue

An actor agrees to play a role. He/She goes and does research for the role. They discuss the overall vision for their character with the writer(s) and director(s). They might talk to people who live in their character's home town, or they might speak with people who are in their character's chosen profession. When they are playing a specific person, they go and talk to that person. They soak in all they can about the character they are playing, so that they can become that character while shooting the movie.

Developing software is a bit like that. You talk to the people paying the bills about their overall vision for the system. Then you talk to users of the system: people who live there everyday. In the case when you have access to a domain expert, you speak to that person and ask lots of questions. Domain experts feel a lot like technical advisors on a movie set. They watch what you're doing on a day to day basis, and let you know if it works. They are the ones with they're heads totally in whatever they're advising on, and they give constant feedback so the system is as good and useful as it can be.

All in all, it's the part I like (second) most about my job (behind actually coding). I enjoy immersing myself in a role, to better understand the way I should play this character, and doing my part to ensure that the end product is the highest quality it can be.

~L

Posted on Friday, February 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: I Love Being an Actor

# re: I Love Being an Actor
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I agree.
http://ferventcoder.com/archive/2007/12/27/problem-solver-or-developer.aspx

Glad to see more people starting to understand the concept of being an actor.
Left by Robz on Feb 20, 2009 1:27 PM

# re: I Love Being an Actor
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It's a fair analogy. I've often felt that software development has many parallels to movie production.
Left by Clint Edmonson on Feb 24, 2009 1:23 PM

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