This post is to announce the publishing of “Divine Code – Practices of the Proper Christian Programmer”.
Whilst more or less appropriate commandments have a long standing tradition in software development – one of the first examples being Dijkstra’s famous “Goto Considered Harmful”, little has so far been written about sound practices in God fearing development, that acknowledge the necessity of a strong faith and recur to the spiritual experience of two millenia.
The authors provide us with a step by step introduction to the practices that could very well be used as a maturity model.
They start out with the practice of Prayer. Praying has a long standing tradition in software development – the steps pray and deploy are part of every serious continuous integration effort. It is now well understood that the power of the prayer is – not unlike TDD – twofold. There is a direct effect when the spirit enters the code base as well as an indirect effect through the changed mind-set of the developer. Some pagan processes do rely on daily standups as a substitute for prayer. These efforts might be well-intended but do nonetheless amount to heresy!
Further practices include Christening, which involves getting your system properly soaked, the Holy Communion formerly known as team drinks, Exorcism which comes in different degrees ranging from the casual refactoring to a full blown rewrite. When all that could be done has been done the Annointing of the Sick Code Base could be your last resort.
Another practice that has recently been falling into misuse by heathen folks is the Sacrament of Reconciliation aka Confession. The godless call it retrospective though.
Peace of mind is essential for the productive programmer and can easily be achieved with the firm believe in the Project Everlasting. Everything else failing there is always the option of applying the time honored practices of Crucifixion or Stoning to the incompetent manager or customer, though the authors concede that in most cases generous amounts of Holy Water and Incense will do.
In the true spirit of inclusiveness and diversity there is a contributed chapter on Halal coding Habits, that provide an even more elaborate mental frame work for the aspiring programmer, vividly illustrating that Christianity is not the only hope for the industry. Halal actually meaning lawful or permitted our knowledgeable co-author makes a good point that doing the bad stuff makes the project go haram – unlawful. Another interesting point is his elaboration on the importance of a prophet between the mere mortals and the divine, incomprehensible supreme being. This indirection has indeed come to us in the form of asynchronous messaging with a certain BizTalk combining these virtues with the agile virtue of talking to the biz.
The book is available as of today, April 1st 2010 – let the lord in to your heart. Buy a copy. And become a truly superior programmer.