Deal Coder

My Macintosh-geekery is pretty extensive.  I’ve got a solid collection of Apple-related paraphernalia, computers, advertising pieces, etcetera.  Amongst the collection are about a hundred shirts (I’m not exaggerating here, ask my wife).  One of them is relatively recent and it’s one of the few that I wear, as the rest are pretty old.

This particular shirt is fairly plain – solid black with a white Apple logo on the back and in a rare departure from my preferred blank front, has “I (Apple logo) code.” on the front, dead-center on the chest.  When I wear it, I have always kinda’ felt like a fraud.  I don’t program computers.  The most I know are the names of the various languages: C, Perl, Java, Ruby on Rails, PHP, etc.  But when asked, I always say that I couldn’t code my way out of a paper sack.

I realized today that I’m wrong – to borrow a marketing slogan from Apple, I just needed to Think Different.  Let’s start with two definitions.

Code (n): a system of words, letters or symbols assigned to something for the purposes of classification or identification.

Program (n): a series of instructions to control operation.

Hmmm… I think I might actually fit into these with a little twist. I am a Deal Coder.  Yep, that’s right… I write code and programs.  But you’d probably call it a contract.  I take words and symbols and I combine them in a specific way to achieve a particular result.  Each section of a contract is designed to address a specific set of circumstances.  We even have what computer programmers call “comments” in our code – have you ever read a “Whereas” clause?  It’s just a place for us to explain the why behind our code.

Heck, we even use similar language to describe how we run our code – execution.  Oh, and we have buggy code, too.  We issue contract revisions (amendments) much the same way a computer programmer provides bug fixes.  And when we’re done with our use, we terminate what we’ve done.

Like computer programmers, we not only have to learn the language we’re coding in, but more specifically, as we improve, we have to learn how to refine the language we use.  We clarify, we revise, we edit (see the work of Ken Adams in my blogroll).  We reduce the bulk (bloat) where we can and we look for ways in which we can recycle code we’ve written before.  Herein lays another overlap in language – we both have toolboxes of prior code that we use again and again to achieve a similar result.

So I am a Coder (Koder? 😉 ) and I do love my particular form of code.  I’m wearing my shirt today with a new found sense of pride!

Are you a Koder?

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