I recently ran across this quote from C.S Lewis:

Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of the telling.

I think this applies equally well to software developers. It is very easy to forget about what we’re building and who we’re building it for, and to get caught up in the way we’re building it. To focus on the form and forget about the function.

Don’t get me wrong: we need to build things well in order to be able to continue building them in the future. Good form allows us to continue to add more function.

As with many things, though, there is a balance to be struck, and it’s a good idea to revisit our approach and make sure that we’re striking the balance in the right place.

This quote has inspired me to think about my approach to software. Am I thinking too much about the code and internal design at the cost of serving my users/customers? Am I balancing the competing forces and tradeoffs in the right direction?

I encourage you to think about these things as well.