Engineering or Art: Why not Both?

art-3Dubai Skyline – Engineering or Art?

“Filling a space in a beautiful way. That’s what art means to me.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

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This past weekend my wife and I were in Providence, visiting our daughter for the purpose of meeting her new boyfriend.  Walking through our hotel I noticed an interesting diptych among the artwork decorating the hallway – two pieces celebrating the nearby Exchange Bridge.  One piece, an engineering drawing used in the construction, had many characteristics – clean lines, geometric patterns, symmetry, and interesting ornamentation – usually associated with many purely artistic works.  The other piece was a photo capturing the beauty of the resulting tangle of structural steel that was the bridge itself.  The photographer, coming upon this utilitarian object, recognized that it had “filled a space in a beautiful way” – and thus was art, to Georgia O’Keeffe, to the photographer, as well as to many others who walk the streets of the city (or the halls of that hotel) every day. Continue reading

Software Development – 1% Inspiration, 99% Validation

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I love developing software.

I tell everybody that this profession is the new artistic frontier; with the software developer being the creative successor to the cave painter, Michelangelo, Picasso, and so forth.  Anything we can imagine, we can create – and with the tools available today, we can create quickly.  On a typical day I might wake up with new inspiration — some amazing new graphic trick, some slick tweak to the UI, or a game-changing feature; have it incorporated into CloudCalc by noon; show it off to – and get some wows from — a couple of lay people (who have no idea what engineers actually do); run it through some testing; and then release it to the world in time to knock off work around mid-to-late evening.

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