Yes, I Still Write Code

Will Schroeder | Kitware Blog | February 8, 2011

Let me start by admitting to an open secret: I still write code. If you are like many people whom I share this secret with, you're probably thinking that's a crazy thing to do. Well I'm not going to argue the point, after all the business folks talk at length about the role of a CEO and management, and believe me it does not include writing software. After all, Kitware's developers run circles around me in terms of coding speed and mastery of the software process, they are certainly more cost effective, and have the advantage that they can stay focused on a single project while I am interrupted continuously throughout the day. So why the heck do I still write code?

There are selfish reasons certainly. The act of writing software is a creative process involving both sides of the brain, with the feeling at times akin to sculpting or fine craftsmanship, combined with the abstract beauty of mathematics. I also enjoy working alongside smart people with the give and take of creating cool new ideas and the challenge of making the right engineering trade offs. It is truly a gift to learn from a team of talented people for which I derive immense satisfaction. But as we all know a company does not succeed on selfish motivations. So in the final analysis, the act of writing code is ultimately an act of communication, enabling me (and the rest of the management team most of whom also write code) to better understand the needs, talents, challenges, and opportunities that emerging software technology offers...