I came across an article on one of my favourite blogs/websites and thought I’d share. I encourage everyone who reads this to continue on and read the original article as well.
I was having a conversation with a friend recently about the value of being unique in video game creation. The conversation led me to think about how I evaluate different things in my life. I found myself asking questions I may not have thought to ask myself when making assessments. Should we value unique idea more than ideas that are recycled? What if the execution of the recycled is better than the original? Should we give appreciation to those that create, or those that revolutionize?
Our conversation and the above article made me think about the way programmers create in modern society. We live in a world where open source affords us the incredible ability to steal ideas and cheat our way through solutions, but find ourselves contributing to the community instead. We find dedicated communities that build amazing solutions to problems that we all have, and are all able to share in the value of a finished project.
That left me to think about how we build websites (or anything with code, really). Are we stealing every time we use a code snippet or open source project? Should our work be devalued for using an existing solution to supplement one of our own? Where do we draw the line, as developers, in saying that something is built from scratch? Can we consider anything built from scratch?
As we build better creation tools, higher level programming languages, abstracted development processes, scratch becomes farther and farther from where we started. For example, tools like Sass and Less allow us to create CSS programmatically and save time. Does this mean the final product has a lesser value because we were able to complete it with greater ease and in less time? Should we assign it a greater value, considering the extra time and effort that went into learning the tools? The answer seems pretty simple when it comes to investing time into learning another language, but where does that answer land when we look at website building tools like Squarespace?
I guess it all comes down to the end result.
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.