Blog: Artists on Software Development

I heard two wonderful things on the CBC today, both of which relate to this business of software development.

One was on the radio, on an arts magazine called Q, hosted by the urbane Jian Ghomeshi. He was interviewing the winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Junot Diaz. At one point, Diaz said something close to this:

Appearances are not what matters…what’s the reality? As an artist, I’m not a corporate shill. What matters to me as an artist is to look into the things that the culture doesn’t want to talk about.

Does the quote remind you of the role of the tester?

The whole show is available as a podcast; the interview starts at about 25 minutes in.

The other wonderful quote was from The Hour with George Strombolopoulous. Charlie Kaufman, writer of Adaptation and The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and writer/director of Synecdoche, New York, said something close to this:

Failure isn’t a negative thing; it’s just a possible result of trying to do something that you don’t yet know how to do.

Does that remind you of art in general? Of the whole business of developing software, especially in agile contexts?

Once again: the CBC is one of the things that makes living in Canada a wonderful thing.

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2 responses to “Artists on Software Development”

  1. kumar says:

    Being an Artist has the highest advantage of being innovative and seeing the unseen. Artists are not bothered about what it is,but are worried about what it needs to be.
    The above two qualities of being innovative and also seeing the unseen are the ONLY two qualities a test engineer needs to possess. From process perspective artistic test engineer brings in new innovations and overcomes the limitations of Agile model (Esp on offshore model) and from a product quality perspective, he makes the best end user to test the product as he’s always targets what systems “need” to be.

  2. Michael says:

    Hi, Kumar…

    I think that being innovative and being able to see the unseen are great qualities for testers, but I don’t think they’re the only two by any means. Nor is there a guarantee that the artistic tester is the best end user. And artists are often bothered about what something is, and sometimes don’t worry about what it needs to be.

    But hey, thanks for the comment. 🙂

    —Michael B.

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