The earlier post left some readers with requests to expand on the relevance of why I would post about Hackers and Programming. Strangely the gurus of sports performance are good about programming only affiliate codes in lame blog posts, not designing beautiful software. Writing programs? I wish they taught that in college more as I see very weak programs when training theory and development principals are not learned first. This is why we are not evolving as fast as we are changing in the industry of sports performance. I do think track and field has had a nice rebirth with coaching talent from the merging of all the disciplines but strangely the sports performance world has taken a step back. My other request was to look at things with a wide angle lens instead of looking for training tips or tricks of the trade. Look at the above photo? Looks like the deer is ready for take off to the first hurdle?
Expanding on writing programs I have taken my coaches workouts and replicated them early in my career. One can argue is that I hacked it by using it and adjusting it to what I needed or wanted. Many of us have done this. Soon we learned how to program based on what we learned from an existing program. Paul Graham in Hackers and Painters does a wonderful job of bringing two very different subject matters and finds the key similarities to their success.
The other way makers learn is from examples. For a painter, a museum is a reference library of techniques. For hundreds of years it has been part of the traditional education of painters to copy the works of the great masters, because copying forces you to look closely at the way a painting is made…Great software, likewise, requires a fanatical devotion to beauty. If you look inside good software, you find that parts no one is ever supposed to see are beautiful too. I’m not claiming I write great software, but I know that when it comes to code I behave in a way that would make me eligible for prescription drugs if I approached everyday life the same way. It drives me crazy to see code that’s badly indented, or that uses ugly variable names.