All I Want For Christmas

work safe

Blog BattleSEP is currently having a blog battle between some of the employees. This week’s challenge is the title – All I Want for Christmas.

All I want for Christmas is essential complexity.

As I move from project to project, the interesting part is not the code. I care about software architecture for the same reason Shaker carpenters worried about mortis and tenon joints. They help make the table look and act like a surface for making and eating nourishing meals. That’s it.

Shaker designs are simple and distilled from years of learning and sharing. But they did not ornament their work. Those fancy overlaps on the oval shaker boxes? They were the back. Not meant to be seen. They shunned inlay and other ornamentation.

There are two parts to software that make it hard. There is the actual work we are tying to do, the complexity that comes from health insurance regulations or keeping aircraft serviced. Then there is the stuff we do to ourselves. By being to clever, by trying to do more than we should. This second complexity is incidental to the work at hand.

So here is want I want. I want to have a program that looks like the business rules. It screams, “THIS IS MY UTILITY! THIS IS MY REASON FOR BEING!”

I want to be able to write this code. To craft this software. To make the hard parts of the user interface and data access code disappear unnoticed behind an app that just works, and code that is only on service of simplifying that work as sparingly as possible.

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