Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Minutes to learn. A lifetime to master.

Take a step and a half backward. Tilt your head to one side. Un-focus your eyes. Close one of them. Scrunch up your face. This sort of dance may seem ridiculous. And yet it's absolutely critical to the process of creation; contemplation. You see this choreography from sculptors at work. We need more of it in software development.

And these instruments ought to be accessible to children as well. Look at the piano for example. An uninstructed child will discover on their own that the keyboard's x-axis relates to pitch, force relates to volume, and if their little legs are long enough they can experiment with sustain. Minutes to learn (albeit badly). A lifetime to master. That's a good goal for new computing tools: intuitive enough to jump in on, but with room to evolve real skill and elegance.
Stewart Smith on The Setup