It’s funny really. I began my career as a writer. Both as a journalist and, after I crossed the floor, as a PR practitioner. Words were my bread and butter. I wrote, I subbed, I revised. Pulitzer Prizes were unlikely to come my way, unless awards were handed out for writing about industrial flooring, but – without wishing to blow my own trumpet – I like to think I had a way with the Queen’s English.
And then, well, my love of technology kicked in. When I was a kid I spent many happy hours transcribing lines of code from a book into my ZX81. And that love of ‘making things happen with computers’ has continued into my late 30s.
Because, whilst I absolutely adore writing English, I also really enjoy writing code. And that’s an odd combination. But me being me, I see symmetry between the two. The flow of a well-constructed sentence is a thing of joy. But so is the happiness I get when I manage to get web code to achieve the aim I want.
Both are a means to an end.
A great sentence delivers a message: helps sell a product, paints a fictional picture or provides an education. It helps to deliver an intended result. Well-written code does the same thing. It delivers the person interacting with it to the destination you wanted them to reach.