I bought this postcard about ten years ago in Karlsruhe, Germany and it just
resurfaced while i was sorting out my stuff after moving house. The back
suggests that it’s titled “Dompteur” by Michael Sowa but I don’t know any more
about it than that. However, I think in many ways it sums up perfectly the
experience of writing computer software.
The picture depicts three IBM PC era computers mounted on pedastools in a
circus tent with a man in a lion tamer style uniform standing before them
holding a whip. Despite the vast tent there is only a single solitary man in
the audience dressed in a drab brown suit.
It’s a sad fact that despite many developers finding software development
fascinating few outside the industry do - hence the extremely sparse
attendance at the show. The drab clothing of the sole member of the audience
suggests to me the fact that, among non-geeks, geeks have a reputation of
being dull (not to mention socially incompetent) people.
Even for developers the experience of writing software can be frustrating
(hence the whip) and can feel unrewarding at times.