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Beautiful Programming

With a mission statement which includes phrases such as creating beautiful software and a focus on beautiful people, it can sometimes be hard to follow such a mission if the very objective, beauty, is hard to materialize.

It has been said that beauty is in proportions. The moment you start emphasizing or leaning too heavily on one concept, you start to caricature the concept and fade on beauty. Beauty is all about holding the right proportion at all times.

Beautiful software does not waste features, but has everything you need. The interface is not busy but practical. Its efficient and natural, but cruising through complex problems. The code is not bloated and not cryptic due to code line famines. It has the right proportions. Beautiful people are controlled but not retentive. They are passionate but not sentimental. Expression is a skill, not a habit. Focused yet continually thinking out the box. Pushing boundaries and pioneering but never falling off the edge, beautiful people contain the right proportions. Bringing the two together is indeed a mission statement, but requires more mission and less statement. And to achieve this, we use the inaptly and irony-burdened name Extreme Programming.

In its essence, it aims to contain proportion, never to focus on the extremes. The right design, but simple enough and agile to tackle complex systems. Estimating to cater for business forecasting and survival but not allowing dogmatic routines and methodologies to dictate. Indeed, a minefield of contradictions when you lean too heavily on the one concept to the neglect of the other supporting principles but by achieving the right proportions and you attain beauty. Perhaps we could reconsider the term Extreme Programming (afterall, its laden with cliches and prejudices) and look at the ways we want to work and what we want to achieve. And never forgetting, most importantly, how we want to achieve it. Perhaps, the way we implement our mission is more suited to the title Beautiful Programming because beautiful software, created
by beautiful people can only be created in a beautiful manner.

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[…] extreme position on the use of metrics is snake magic and has no place in a team committed to beautiful programming. They’re useful, everybody uses them and there are plenty to choose from. Keeping track of […]

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