Saturday, July 18, 2009

Romance in the IT Department?

NPR's Scott Simon's parody of the start of a romance novel set in an IT department raises an interesting question: Is there any serious writing about the personal dramas that take place in the myriad corporate IT organizations around the world. I have read Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine about the creation of a new minicomputer, and Clifford Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage about a system administrator's search for a hacker, but other than humor such as Dilbert (apparently a product developer) and a venerable sendup of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" , I can't think of one. Does anyone know of such serious writing? Should it be encouraged?

1 comment:

  1. One need look no further than Wikipedia's entry on the Stable Marriage Problem, to find hot steamy romance in the boudior of computer science. I quote,

    "Given n men and n women..."

    Oh my, this is already getting pretty kinky.

    "... where each person has ranked all members of the opposite sex with a unique number between 1 and n in order of preference..."

    How romantic!!

    "... marry the men and women off such that there are no two people of opposite sex who would both rather have each other than their current partners."

    A true definition of love!

    "If there are no such people, all the marriages are 'stable'."

    And, of course that's the crux. There never are such people, and so we are left with a conflict that needs to be resolved. A story of unrequited love in which one tragic fellow longs for the touch of his true love, but falls victim to the instability in the world around him.