The Tool Smith's Blog
An author co-worker once speculated that I (Dobb here) was more published than he, the author of four or five novels at the time. His reasoning: My code runs (read: is published) out on the web.
In many ways I guess I agree with him, and in one way I don't. Let's get that one out of the way... You really don't read what I publish. You interact with it. You see it. It conveys information to you. But being an author myself, mainly of whitepapers and academic articles, I struggle to say that my code is published.
As a verb, publish is "to issue work — a book, journal, or music — in print or make available online." This screams to me: content. My code is akin to the letter blocks a printers' press uses, the book's binding, or the library's shelves. These help get the content to you in a specific way that the author intended. The same can be said of my code — it helps get the client's content to the user in a specific manner.
Now that I've actually written my one objection, I think that is my new answer. I don't publish when my code goes live. However, my blog is content. This blog is published.
As a toolsmith and a utility writer, as a backend engineer or lead developer, most times I can't show anyone the "binder" or the framework or the widget, or even the output that my code creates. Yes, I create, as does my code. I take great pride in code that saves people time and money. (If you need help with anything, just contact me and we'll see what we can do!)
I'll have to explore "authorship" as it pertains to software development in a future post.