‹Programming› 2024
Mon 11 - Fri 15 March 2024 Lund, Sweden

Workshop Webpage

Some programming feels fun, other programming feels annoying. Why?

For a while now the study of programming has forced improvements to be described through the Fordist lens of usability and productivity, where the thing that matters is how much software can get built, how quickly.

But along the way, something has gone missing. What makes programmers feel the way they do when they’re programming? It’s not usually fun to spend an age doing something that could have been done easily, so efficiency and usability still matter, but they’re not the end of the story.

Some environments, activities, contexts, languages, infrastructures make programming feel alive, others feel like working in a bureaucracy. This is not purely technologically determined, writing Lisp to do your taxes probably still isn’t fun, but it’s also not technologically neutral, writing XML to produce performance art is still likely to be <bureaucratic></bureaucratic>.

Whilst we can probably mostly agree about what isn’t fun, what is remains more personal and without a space within the academy to describe it.

PX set its focus on questions like: Do programmers create text that is transformed into running behavior (the old way), or do they operate on behavior directly (“liveness”); are they exploring the live domain to understand the true nature of the requirements; are they like authors creating new worlds; does visualization matter; is the experience immediate, immersive, vivid and continuous; do fluency, literacy, and learning matter; do they build tools, meta-tools; are they creating languages to express new concepts quickly and easily; and curiously, is joy relevant to the experience?

In this 9th edition of PX, we will expand its focus to also cover the experience that programmers have. What makes it and what breaks it? For whom? What can we build to share the joy of programming with others?