A Novelist Assesses the Beauty of Computer Code

Writer and programmer Vikram Chandra on the relationship between the two forms

June 26, 2015

When we’re talking about data, we’re really talking about code—the languages that structure every aspect of our digital lives. But can code itself be interesting? Or even beautiful? Vikram Chandra grew up in India and always wanted to be a novelist, but when he came to the United States, he discovered computers—going from a weekend tinkerer to a consultant who paid his way through grad school. He spoke with Steve Paulson on what makes good writing, and what makes good code.