Programmers are DJs

Sorin Dolha
2 min readAug 14, 2019
Photo by Krys Amon on Unsplash

I was a kid when I’ve got my first computer. I loved working with BASIC, later Pascal, and even C (if writing small programs can be called work.)

I did have a few games too on the 40 MB drive, but my dad and my neighbors were mostly playing them — not me. My personal passion was to create miscellaneous small executables (or “interpretables”) myself, and I couldn’t wait to show them to other people. Once I wrote a program for my dad to help him with keeping track of bills for the building block we lived.

Usually people said “wow”, maybe they even used my “software” a bit, but sure, then they always went back to their beloved games. But I was never upset. Even that they ran other authors’ applications more. I think this was because I always felt part of that very same group: I was a developer too!

And I could truly empathize with all other programmers — being a software creator was (and still is) the best feeling ever for me, overriding anything else!

Anyway, being a programmer — therefore a geek — also meant I wasn’t very popular at parties. But moreover, unlike many of my colleagues (some even less popular), I couldn’t have fun when a DJ played some music at such an event. Don’t get me wrong, the music itself was probably good (I always liked a lot of genres), I just couldn’t consume it properly. When I was around other consumers, at least, I empathized more with the DJ himself: “what a great feeling is to play tracks, crossfade this into that, play that effect now and then, and allow so many people enjoy the output all night long!”

I realized only a lot later that programmers are in fact just like DJs when they combine programming languages, frameworks, UI components and miscellaneous customizations — as the latter would do with their collections of songs and effects (often set up by other DJs and composers), and sometimes with a microphone for adding a personal note too — linking them into pieces of creative work that certainly provides a lot of fun to the audience when executed, but internally bringing even more fun to the author when upon producing the output.

(I think that’s essentially why both programmers and DJs are always so happy, continuously learning and improving their knowledge, song collections, and skills and effects every day.)

Sorin Dolha

Developer • married, father×2 • Rust, Swift, WPF, Web • founder of DlhSoft • MacBook enthusiast • absurdism • EDM • writing from Cluj