A very good friend and colleague of mine once summed up learning to program very well: “Programming forces you to think in a brand new way.” Learning to think in a new way is required for programming, but it’s often why many people mistake it for being difficult. Anytime I hear someone say “I’m not smart enough to program”, I cringe, because I know for a fact that it’s simply not true. A computer is not only dumb, it only does what you tell it to do. The hard part is translating what you want into, literally, a language the computer understands.
There is another difficult part that is seldom mentioned, turning it off. It’s hard to look at a map of a mall, a stack of jelly packets, or even a potential lover without thinking like a programmer.
So this post received the most negative feedback from any comic so far. Some came to my defense, and thanks to you, but I did want to make a statement:
Allow me to explain the order in which the strip was written. I wrote it in reverse. I started with the last panel, the idea of personifying Java’s variables as someone (no gender in mind) who was damaged by a relationship and someone else (the next partner) had to deal with was a funny idea to me, so I tried to make a whole strip with this idea. That panel seemed to be a great third panel, so I started to write the other panels next.
The python panel was next, mainly just to pick on python’s white space requirements, and I still didn’t have a gender assigned to these languages yet.
Now the last panel I wrote, the first panel in the strip, is where I failed as a comedic author. I wanted to poke fun at PHP’s loose typing system, and to do so I focused on the word loose. Now, “loose” is a phrase that does have a gender in its custody, which then locks a gender in place for the rest of the strip.
My intent wasn’t to offend anyone, and I do want to apologize. I didn’t either take the time or have the capacity to view how the strip could be interpreted in different ways. I only had my interpretation, poking fun at computer languages.
I’ll remember this lesson as an author in the future.
Thanks for the feedback!