Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lots of Code

I'm a little bit stunned to think of the sheer volume of code in the project that my machine is compiling right now. I'm on line 60,000 of... well, a really big number. So big that it has made my int roll over to negative twice so far.

What is even more striking -- sobering, even -- is that this code represents the lives of the people who work here. Most of their waking hours, on most days, for most of their lives, have been spent adding to this code. They have created it, perfected it, sweated and sighed over it... and now here I am, distilling it to machine-readable 1s and 0s in a matter of minutes.

With that thought in mind, and in honor of National Poetry at Work Day (here's a delightful infographic about it), I will quote a few lines of Eliot's "Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock":

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
But what are any of our lives, really, but a long, slow measuring out? And lines of C++ are as good a yardstick as coffee spoons, I reckon.

No comments:

Post a Comment