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Programming is a liberal art. As in: it involves language and explication of processes. The amount of actual engineering involved in making a successful application (like Etsy) is actually quite low. The amount of clear code that focuses relentlessly on the mission at hand (an admittedly squishy metric — after all, that's the nature of art) also seems to be quite low in the typical application, but naturally needs to be much higher.

For instance just putting a platform like Etsy entirely on Google App Engine would allow Etsy to focus on the liberal arts side of the problem. Because GAE "solves" most all the engineering problems that typically have plagued software practices on the web...




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