People use the word “discipline” reasonably often when they talk about the software trade. I tend to avoid that word, and I wish more folks followed me in that policy.
Most of those folks are not meaning anything untoward. They might easily use “orderly”, “consistent”, “persistent”, “systematic”, and so on, instead of “discipline”, and as I say, I wish they would.
“Discipline”, in other parts of the forest, is an ordinary part of the vocabulary of extrinsic motivation by punishment that is a common element in command-and-control arrangements.
“Discipline”, in that part of the forest, is also used as a verb. Its meaning is usually “punish” or “sanction”, and pretty much always implies “coerce” and “control”.
Meanings in one domain aren’t the same as in other domains, of course. But there is, I don’t know, “bleed-through”. Words carried across domain lines, unless the domains are very significantly different and the words are very rigorously defined, carry powerful overtones.
As a programmer, I am pretty much “orderly”, “rigorous”, “systematic”, “consistent”, “persistent”, and so on. I imagine that anyone who’s any good at programming is most of these things most of the time, too.
None of this involves those overtones of “punish”, “coerce”, “control”, and so on. And far from being extrinsically motivated by pain, I am intrinsically motivated by the *pleasure* of being those things.
People who program computers for a living work every day at length with the most rigorous, systematic, consistent, persistent, orderly thing humans have ever devised: the computer.
If a person doesn’t *like* dealing with that kind of stuff, I find it hard to imagine they’re going to either like programming or be very good at it.
And you know what? That’s *fine*. That’s okay! That’s not a crisis or a problem or an issue.
What *would* be an issue: an organization that hires computer programmers who must then be coerced or controlled into being systematic, orderly, rigorous, consistent, and persistent.
I’ve seen such organizations.
They use the word “discipline” a lot.
That’s why I don’t.
Let’s change things!!
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