Want to better your code? Then let’s start with your diction!
Please don’t worry, this whimsy is no work of fiction—
The ensuing eight stanzas or so of this chatter
Should convey why it is that the words you choose matter.
Writing code is creative, both you and I know,
So it’s baffling that many developers so
Often tear down the field known as “liberal arts,”
Because really? It should be quite dear to our hearts.
“How are poems and programs the same?” you may ask,
Which brings us to the truth that I’ll try to unmask—
If you’d just care to lend me a bit of your time,
Let us start with the basics: your meter and rhyme.
Now, your meter describes how your verses all flow;
All these lines? Anapestic tetrameter, so
I form four groups of three beats, two soft and one hard:
“So which DO you pre-FER, Captain KIRK or Pic-ARD?
I’m quite certain you know what a rhyme is, of course—
Matching words by their sounds, like horse, source, and divorce.
Your rhyme scheme describes how those rhymes come into play,
e.g., “Sue threw fat rat,” versus “Felled prey yelled, ‘Hey!’”
Now, the goal of good code is the same, you’ll accord:
Write as much with as little as you can afford,
All without typing out an unreadable mess.
(Bonus points for each line eighty letters or less!)
So programmers and poets, I think you will find,
Have a great deal in common in their frames of mind;
Each one takes an idea, breaks it down and dissects,
And then uses the simple to form the complex!
Written language is all about using your tools
To create something great, while obeying the rules,
And while “thinking outside of the box” is great fun,
You must learn how to walk… long before you can pun.