A magazine about programmers, code, and society. Written by humans since 2018.

Issue 004: Programming, Art or Science?

Issue 004: Programming, Art Or Science?

Happy 2019 and welcome to the fourth issue of De Programmatica Ipsum, dedicated to the subject of Programming, Art Or Science? In this edition Carola Nitz explores the boundaries between science and art, Roland Leth finds the contact point between both perspectives, Graham explores the art on Donald Knuth’s classic book “The Art of Computer Programming”, and in this issue’s subscriber-only article, Adrian reviews some interesting moments in the “Science vs. Art” debate in literature and programming history.

The Creativity Of Computing

When we think of Programming we might think of the creative process. We all know that, we will conclude here that programming is in some way both artful and scientific. Is there ever any doubt about it? In my book the proportion of what is science and what is art has shifted over the years, but let us take a closer look.

Why Not Both?

There is a question that has been around forever, and that we love tossing around now and then: is programming science or art? Some are adamant about the fact that it is related to computers, and it is very technical, so it is surely science. Are they right?

The Art Of "The Art Of Computer Programming"

A quote from the cover of Volume One of Professor Donald Knuth's Magnum Opus, "The Art of Computer Programming (3rd edition)": "If you think you're a really good programmer… read (Knuth's) Art of Computer Programming… You should definitely send me a résumé if you can read the whole thing." "Me" here refers to the author of the quote, Bill Gates.

A Brief History Of Programming Artists

The literature of software development is filled with references to the "Art vs Science" dichotomy. This article presents a rather short and recessarily incomplete overview of projects, books and papers referring to the subject written in the past 50 years.

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