Youth Club was cancelled tonight, so I ended up coding the whole evening. My paid work is pretty dull, but occasionally there is the satisfaction of doing a nice bit of coding (or as nice as you can get when coding in VBA for Excel). The thing is, no-one appreciates it - no-one else but me is ever going to look at the source code. And to non-programmers, software is just magic. Non-programmers are completely incapable of knowing how much work something takes to code — not that I’m insulting or blaming them, it’s just one of those things. Non-programmers only ever notice the quality of programming when there are bugs. And they certainly can’t tell the difference between code that works but is ugly, and code that does the same job and is a work of art in itself.
Most of my current project has been a re-hash of an older project, but I ripped out the horrible ugly code that’s been bugging me for ages and rewrote it using a lovely object-oriented model that is at the same time nice and efficient (it’s actually seriously hindered by the platform I’m on, but it does the best of a bad job). But no-one either knows or cares except me, and they never will. So I guess that’s why I’m bothering to put it here - please take it from me that in a software project that you will never use, there is some lovely, elegant code that is doing the same job that some ugly, nasty code was doing before.