It’s difficult to prank anyone these days, especially on April 1st. We gave it a shot on this blog yesterday with Steven Lowe’s article on the imaginary programming language and platform called Unicorn. Click here in case you missed it.
Here’s how the germ of the idea started.
My school background is in I.T., not Computer Science. Steven on the other hand has been programming long before the ubiquitous computer in our homes connected to telephone jacks. So when I was quizzing Steven about software and why some program couldn’t do something, he replied, “Because that would make it magical software.”
From there I had the idea of magical software called Unicorn. When I was creating an editorial calendar for blog posts a few weeks later, I wrote down “Unicorn: The magical software that never has bugs and adds features before you know you need them” as an article topic.
One of our primary services at Innovator is custom software development. The premise of the article was to explain why that magical software will never(?) exist and consequently, why there is a need for custom software development.
It was Steven’s idea to turn the topic into an April Fools Day post. But Steven, having a highly creative and imaginative mind, as well as writing Sci-Fi stories on the side, took it further.
Instead of the usual blah blah blog post, he imagined Unicorn as the centerpiece of a Sci-Fi story. Then that funny thing happened that happens to writers when they create fiction; the characters go off-script of the original plan, diverting in different directions and spawning new ideas and connections.
Steven’s mini-epiphany was that yeah, you know what? Writing software is like writing Science Fiction. Within that Sci-Fi story are places and technologies that don’t currently exist. They have to arrive from the imagination.
You have a problem to solve, say, the need for artificial gravity within a spaceship. You create something that doesn’t exist, give it a name, and then begin to imagine how it might work.
Now what’s the process for writing code to solve a problem?
Steven says, “First you have to imagine something that doesn’t exist that solves the problem at hand. Then you have to explain to yourself how it works…then you make it work.”
The people doing this imagining are probably not writers or programmers. But they believe there’s a better, more efficient way to do things. They base their business on this change. They speak up. They pursue projects with a high level of risk. There’s another word for people like this: Heroes.
Steven will be following up on this idea of software creation as Science Fiction in a series of upcoming posts.
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P.S. No hard feelings?
P.S.S. No one noticed that the first letter in each heading spells “April Fools.”