Training: "Aesthetic Programming"

Track: Tutorial

Time: Tuesday 13:00 - 16:00

Location: Henry Moore Room


Aesthetics is a concept that has influenced the thinking of creators  

of all forms including mathematicans, physicists, designers,  

architects and artists. How can we try and interpret this concept  

within the context of software? Is it purely an academic notion, or is  

there real value to be gained from considering the role of aesthetics  

in software practices? Is it possible that aesthetic programming can  

help produce more understandable, readable and maintainable code while  

still meeting performance requirements?


This tutorial will ask all of these questions and more. Together we  

will closely study the roles of perspective, context and language  

leading us to examine the notion that software is, not just a form of  

code, but a form of communication. We will consider our potential  

audiences and the varying importance of different readers, such as the  

computer, yourself, your pair programmer, the tests, the domain expert  

- and even your client.


We will discuss the importance of language, not only as a means of  

communicating with the computer, but as a means of communicating with  

our many, intentional and unintentional, audiences. We will discover  

that just as a good choice of algorithm can optimise performance, a  

good choice of language can optimise our communication and therefore  

help decrease mistakes, and increase our confidence that we are  

discussing the same concepts.


This tutorial will contain both discourse on these matters and  

associated material from academia and real world solutions.

Sam Aaron

 Sam  Aaron Sam is interested in the aesthetics of programming languages, domain specific languages and the more general concept of language oriented programming. He received his Ph.D. in Computing Science from Newcastle University, for which he designed a domain specific language to represent interests within virtual environments. Sam has also worked as a technical reviewer and essayist for Rails books, written Ruby news articles for InfoQ, co-founded the Newcastle and Amsterdam Ruby user groups, and works at Innovation Factory in Amsterdam.