The Life-Changing Mysteries of Coding

Writing computer code can be so easy — and so hard at the same time

Illustration: Simon Pitt

I might as well be Harry Potter saying “NPMicus Compilate!” and waving around a wand.

The sketch from The Frost Report broadcast on April 7, 1966. Fifty years later, the bottom really has fallen out of the chimney sweep industry. Due to automation, the gig economy, technology disruption, and A.I., I guess. By BBC.
if (answer == true){

We think coding is telling the computer what to do, but really it’s making sure other humans (including ourselves in the future) know what we are telling the computer to do.

Credit: Chris Ried

The code you write is microscopic compared with the time you spend trying to work out the vagaries of the giants you’re standing atop.

Media techie, developer, product manager, software person and web-stuff doer. Head of Corporate Digital at BBC, but views my own. More at

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store