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Programming is many times referred to as an art form. While I do not completely share this vision, I can’t help but recognize an important aspect that is found both in programming and in art.

Art is unselfish, benevolent. An artist crafts his piece to offer joy for others. He produces pleasure for the people observing or admiring the end result of his work.

A team of programmers are like an isolated society of artists making art for each other. Software developers must understand that writing source is not about making it work. That is the easy part. It is about making it enjoyable to work with when the code is not yours or when someone else works on your code.

“All code should be written to communicate to the next person who will need to read it. The compiler is only a secondary consideration. There are many ways to write code that will compile and run correctly but most of them are completely non-understandable. Don’t write it in any of those ways. Find the way that is most understandable and then figure out how to make that compile and run.”
– Gerard Meszaros

In the quote above, Gerard Meszaros very clearly points out another aspect: you don’t write code for yourself. You write code for your team. You must forget you wrote that piece of source code in the instance you commit it to the version control system. The code is not yours. The code belongs to your team. They are the one who will have to work and live with it.

Find out more about how we work and craft Storage OS in our Agile Experience Report, published at the Agile Alliance website.