Software Liberals and Conservatives


Steve Yegge defines software liberals and conservatives here.

He writes:

… Software engineering has its own political axis, ranging from conservative to liberal.

(Note: Technically, you could stop reading right here and be at pretty much 90% comprehension. In case you care.)

Put another way, YOU are either a liberal or a conservative software engineer. You may be more of a centrist, or maybe an extremist, but you fall somewhere on that left/right spectrum.

He goes on to define conservatives as risk-averse, strong typing extremists, overly concerned with performance, and liberals as undisciplined lisp or javascript meta-programmers that (gasp) use eval().

Not surprisingly, I find myself on both sides of the fence. I’m a language liberal, but a performance conservative. Oh well, I don’t fit either political party either.  But, I have noticed over the years, that my “moderateness” has changed. I used to try to embrace both sides. Over time I find myself decreasingly tolerant of them both  (in politics and programming). Dogmatic adherence to a predefined doctrine is intellectual laziness, and antithetical to progress. In my experience, anyone who is not a skeptic or at least ambivalent is selling something.

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Posted in Hmmmm, Tech, Uncategorized
2 comments on “Software Liberals and Conservatives
  1. MarkF says:

    Remember when Java was a radical new idea and and the establishment was assembly language, COBOL, and C? So Java’s grown up to be the conservative establishment. Lisp has always been around, but it’s more of a fringe thing, like anarchism. I depart from Steve a little bit here. I think the mainstream left writes PHP and Javascript, and wouldn’t know strong types from a tree.

  2. peterquintas says:

    the after you finish building a large, beautiful, scalable, strongly-typed Java application… some lisp programmer comes along and claims “You didn’t build that!”

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