Issue #1: Hype

De Programmatica Ipsum – On Programming Itself

Welcome to de Programmatica Ipsum! Established in 2018 by software industry veterans Adrian Kosmaczewski and Graham Lee, this monthly magazine brings analysis and opinion on the art and technology of making software from the people who make it.

Here you will not find introductory articles on the latest web app framework or seed-funded database technology. Instead, you will find discussion on why there are so many web app frameworks and seed-funded databases, and how to survive the fatigue of being told it’s time to migrate to the newest and shiniest – again. Indeed the first issue is themed “Hype” and will cover exactly that. Your editors bring decades of experience from the fields of software development, testing, systems administration, architecture, team leadership and management. They are also both accomplished presenters, authors and trainers, skilled at entertaining and informing together.

De Programmatica Ipsum explores the real value in software: the people who use it, their reasons for using it, and the people who make it and their reasons too. The authors of the Agile Manifesto described the higher value of the “things on the left”: individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. These ideas have frequently been viewed through the narrowest of lenses: the individuals and interactions on the engineering team, for example, or the customers and collaborations for the current project.

In science fiction, Isaac Asimov famously formulated the Three Laws of Robotics, and wrote a series of stories collected in I, Robot and The Rest of the Robots exploring their implications, as well as novels featuring robots that obeyed the laws. In one of these novels, Robots and Empire, a Zeroth Law is introduced. The first three laws were about invididuals (a robot must not harm a human being, nor jeopardise its own existence) and interactions (a robot must follow instructions from a human); meanwhile the Zeroth Law forced them to consider society as a whole (a robot must not harm humanity, nor allow humanity to come to harm).

Now the laws of robotics are not an appropriate model for an ethical code, but moving from thinking about the people that I see in the office to everybody that my work impacts; considering how society is helped or harmed by my products, my work, my conduct; treating Agile software development as the first laws from which we should derive the Zeroth Law: that has value.

You will find more in de Programmatica Ipsum than the stories of its founder-editors. We believe in hearing a diversity of perspectives and insights, and want to feature guest authors in each issue to bring a fresh perspective on the month’s theme. That could be you, and in return for your contribution we would gift you a cash honorarium and a free years’ subscription. Want to get involved? You will be able to read a new article here on the first Monday of each month, or you can become a Premium Subscriber to support our work, and get full access to all articles, including the archive of back issues. In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter to be notified of new releases.

Once again, welcome, and on with the first issue: Hype. Future issues will cover the workplace, ethics, burnout, revisionism, security, quality, and more. We look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Ave!

Graham Lee

Graham is the chief labrarian of The Labrary, where the library and the laboratory intersect. He got hooked on making quality software in front of a NeXT TurboStation Color, and still has a lot to learn.