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The Software Artists: Introduction

The people who create software are not factory workers. Nor are they engineers, in the sense that engineering is the “practical application of the knowledge of pure sciences, as physics or chemistry”. But the software industry continues to treat software workers as if they were factory workers or construction workers. The software industry also attempts to value software as if it were a manufactured product.

But making software is a fundamentally creative process, more similar to performance than to manufacturing. Like art and music, software has an audience that is involved in a personal way with the software. And the people who create software are much more like performers than they are like construction workers.

If it is true that software is much more like art than it is like manufacturing, then the tools of artistic criticism should be useful for evaluating software.

It should also be possible to apply successful approaches to art or music pedagogy to software pedagogy.

Furthermore, it should be possible to manage software projects in the same way that artists manage performances, with better results than if the software projects were managed like manufacturing or engineering projects.