Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What's your programming muse?

I was at the gym this morning, listening to my iPod as usual, when my attention turned to the TV in front of the elliptical I was peddling pedaling. The TV was tuned to Live with Regis and Kelly and the guest was the great actor Philip Seymore Hoffman who was there to promote his new movie about Truman Capote. They were discussing Capote's relationship with one of the killers he wrote about in In Cold Blood, when Hoffman said something that intrigued me. When asked whether the killer was Capote's muse, Hoffman said something to the effect of, 'All creative people have a muse that gets them excited about what they are working on.'


I don't know about you, but I consider software development pretty creative, so I started to wonder how this assertion might apply to me. I've been enamored by the languages Java and Ruby, and I've been inspired by the writings of the Gang of Four and the Pragmatic Programmers, but I'm not sure if I would consider these my muse. They've certainly been influential; but my muse? No.


So I pondered this some more. Could it be a product that inspired me? Could it be a mentor that influenced me? Could it be that Hoffman just made a sweeping assertion that doesn't apply to programmers at all? I considered all of these. The fact is I don't know. If any of you have an idea or feel you know your muse, I'd love to hear about it.

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