I was at a workshop where roughly half the participants self-identified as designers and the other half self-identified as computer scientists. The goal was to try to find ways for the two cultures to understand each other and work together better.

At one point, after a designer had talked about his process of creating ideas via sketching, people were invited to ask questions that the panel would then discuss. One designer asked the following question: “How would one reconcile our practice in these conceptual stages of design, where we need to use sketching, with the practice of computer programming? In code everything needs to be so precise, so black and white. It’s all ones and zeroes.”

I happened the next person whose turn it was to ask a question. Before I asked my own question I couldn’t help commenting on the previous one. “It’s funny,” I said, “Everything I make is sketching, and everything I sketch is made by writing code.”

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