The Context and the Logic

March 9, 2021

Soroush Khanlou:

As a professional programmer, there are two main types of tasks you work on. I’ve started thinking about them as the context and the logic. […]

This framing, context vs logic, illustrates two things for me:

First, that we all tell ourselves a lie: this job is primarily about the logic, interview candidates should mainly be tested on their ability to think about the logic, a “good” programmer is someone who can write the logic really well. In fact, an overwhelming amount of the job is making the context work. […]

I’m primarily a context programmer. I wish I weren’t — I enjoy writing the logic a lot more — but it is the reality. I should embrace that and treat the context as my job, rather than as an impediment to “my real job”.

Second, if you can make your context simpler and smaller, you can spend less time on it.

(Via Michael Tsai.)