Don’t blame Jesus for not using the latest tech, none of us can keep up, not even today. 2000 years was a long time ago.
But make no mistake about it, Jesus was a software engineer. And a good one, at that. Buddha and Mohamed and Confucius too, for that matter. But already I digress. Jesus set the highest mark, in my opinion.
Show Me the Abstraction!
Jesus did, in his time, exactly what he would do if he were alive now. He would take one look at all the haranguing and respond with ease. “Dude, your looking at the wrong abstraction! You’ll never figure out how solve for that equation given the data that your looking at!”
Software engineers like me are grabbing the data, presenting it back to you in a more usable form, and hopefully improving your life. I might keep your transactions straight with some remote vendor, or help that same vendor deliver digital content or goods back to you.
In much the same way, Jesus was all about transactions and delivery, but somehow, he found a better point of abstraction. Duh, of course he would, given who he was. But the point is still the same. Where the local boys were trying to figure out little power games between themselves, Jesus wrote software in the area of love and language itself. His equations were simple and tough, and more than anything else, they worked, where the local boys were writing software that had plainly left much to be desired.
Human Interaction as App
The app, at that time, was pretty much limited to human interaction.
Practitioners of power, at that time, did so through the sword. Jesus got that he needed a more powerful medium, and he used the most powerful medium available to him at that time. It took a few centuries, but one human interaction at a time, spreading love with love, Jesus spread his software in an open, reliable, app.
Even later, when the Roman Emperor Constantine took the religion over as a state function, much of what drove the app remained difficult to contort. Well designed software is like that. Anything that can be taken over by power hungry emperors and still maintain any degree of purity is pretty impressive.
By relying on human interaction as the app’s deployment model, Jesus employed open source in one of it’s earliest and most successful adaptations. How interesting that his basic data structures were able to remain intact even without the rigor of tight source control and enforcement of intellectual property rights!
If Jesus’s teachings had a theme, it was certainly close to a theme of personal responsibility. Half an inch below every verse in the new testament, there seems to be a plea:
- Run tests on your software!
- Look carefully at how it performs!
- Don’t just write a program! Look at the basic design!
- If it doesn’t help people, try to improve it!
Jesus was tough, but he was also kind. He seemed to expect us to carry on with his work, make things better.