There is a common idea which sees programming as a branch of art. I am absolutely disagree with it. Programming is engineering and we should treat it in this way.
There is some similarities between engineering and art which, I believe, create this confusion. You might heard that there are lots of way to reach same purpose in programming just like art. Of course, that is true. However, it is also true for engineering. Moreover, engineers try to choose one the most effective way between lots of them to accomplish their purpose not the beautiful one which is more similar to what we programmers try to do. Another similarity between engineering and art is trying take others admire with output of work. We programmers want to see output of our work takes admire of people. I also believe that output of our works should be admirable. Nevertheless, that is not mean our works are some pieces of art. All these make art and engineering closer and programming stay with engineering still.
I always see programmers dare to say programming is art but I just never see yet one of them dare to present themselves as software artist. That would be very amusing probably. It just not fit. We are software engineers or developers, most of it we are computer scientists.
What is all rage about that?
You can ask that while programming is not exactly a branch of art, what is wrong with seeing it so. Seeing codes as a piece of art is extremely time-consuming. A poet can consume hours or days for finding one right word. But we cannot do that for a variable’s name. We should just find a short and descriptive name as soon as possible. If it is not descriptive enough, we should put a comment on it.
Codes just have to work. Qualified codes have to be maintainable and extendable also. They do not have to be ‘beautiful’.