PPIG 2018

5-7 September 2018

PPIG has always been founded on a dualism: we take as much interest in the psychology of the act of programming as in the computational aspects of psychology. Our special theme for 2018, “craft in programming”, doubles down on this duality - we are as interested in submissions arguing for or against the craft status of programming, as we are in explorations of how programming may interact harmoniously or injuriously with traditional crafts.

Papers received to recent PPIGs have already broken this ground - exploring connections between software and maker culture, distinctions between the craft of artists and amateurs, and whether making software could qualify as a craft at all, beyond being an unreliable activity which requires skill and insight to achieve desirable results.

This year we would like to take these issues further, and particularly welcome submissions that explore the contradictions between the working practices and assumptions of workers in tangible and intangible media, as well as proposals for refounding our disciplines so that such contradictions could be healed. For example, a recent focus of organisations such as the Heritage Crafts Association has been the curation of what is termed “Intangible Cultural Heritage” - the invisible transmission of knowledge and skills associated with traditional artisanry. But here we have a contradiction, since although programming is famously comfortable manipulating the abstract, it is equally famously uncomfortable dealing with the unquantifiable and indefinable. What assistance could a future programming offer to such struggling traditions?