Monday, November 3, 2008

Is software development an art?

In a recent blogg, MissUnderstodd asks the above question. I have noted that artists go to several years of education before. They learn a lot of techniques, aestetics, mechanisms and so on, so they know that to obtain a certain effect, they need to proceed in a certain way.

So do software developers. So yes, I think software development is comparable to the work of an artist. You know what you want to obtain, you know the rules for getting there and there is a lot of freedom for artistic work in between.


Anonymous said...

"What is art?" is actually such a controversial question. It sounds short and simple, but a whole huge, maybe even - never ending set of questions are contained in that one.

Our views on what art is have changed significantly through time, especially lately. There lies a part of the controversy and the different views on art we have today - we humans most of the time draw our conclusions and categorize things based on how we categorized similar things previously. Software development is relatively new category that still did not get widely recognized as an art, or an engineering discipline, or whatever.

Personally, I try to keep my mind open, but at this point I do not think that software development is an art. As one of my personas said here :
"creativity - it seems to me that many believe if they are creative, that makes them artists! No, art does not have a monopoly over creativity." This, in fact, reflects my personal opinion. :)

Eivind Nordby said...


I don't disagree with you, really. It all depends on your dominant opinion of what makes an artist. It's just that I have noticed that artists do not act in a vacuum of creativity alone. Nor do we. I don't find that the great artists are those dominated by creativity, but those who know how to express their feelings by following artistic rules that result in predictible effects.