I don’t think the world of classical music is necessarily all that happy-go-lucky: e.g. the existence/importance of music “critics” https://www.gramophone.co.uk/reviews
And let me tell you, with any sort of group artistic performance “I don’t want to argue about artistic vision, I just want to express myself” might be a fine attitude to have for like, low-key community performances and such, but I highly doubt it’s going to put you on good terms with your colleagues in a professional troupe.
I think the biggest difference is that as a programmer, there’s a chance you’ll have to deal with Alice’s “Solo Cello composition” some day, as it’s part of a program that’s written. This is fundamentally different from actual music which doesn’t influence other musicians in this way.
What Alice is conveniently ignoring is that Bob could end up losing his job because he has to perform her solo cello composition after she gets bored with cello and decides to take up the maracas.
Or that Dana wants to get back to their family at the end of the workday instead of having to spend time retraining on a new notation for cello solos that uses colors instead of staves to denote key because it’s more elegant and efficient in paper space.
Or that Elsie is going to be yelled at for trying to take a second to tune her cello at a kid’s birthday party because the parents insist on having the best cello piece played (which everybody in the blogosphere knows is this new hotness from Alice) but are really sure that they have a firm deadline to celebrate their kid this very minute before the ball pit opens.
Or that Frank, Gina, Henrietta, Itomu, Jean-Claude, Kristof, Lina, Maxx, and Noreen are all really quite accomplished at kazoo but haven’t been able to pick up the cello yet and the performances they keep getting booked for–as an ensemble band–have all been for wind instruments until a rich friend of Alice starts buying ads in the paper (“Kazoos considered harmful”) and putting up videos on Youtube with conference hottakes (“wat.Kazoos”) and writing long, thoughtful thinkpieces about how being a cellist is somehow, just like, inherently better than those blub musicians that only know how to make people happy with a kazoo. Said friend, a PhD from Harvard in mandolin studies who later lucked out in the grunge rock craze that Nirvana kicked off, on the side has a business finding promising young musicians, convincing them that by sacrificing their 20s and learning to “play music that doesn’t scale” , and then booking them out to perform for other middle-aged producers with too much money and a desire to show off their “taste and vision” in music.
This scheme of course relies on gullible, short-sighted, and anti-social musicians like Alice.
Yeah, that sounds about right.
On the other hand, I do think there should be room for experimentation, and a lot of code is just “hobby code” that’s just written for the fun of it, or to see what works or not.
I also think people can be needlessly critical and argumentative sometimes.
I think that the field is driven forward often by goofy side projects or itch-scratching–so totally agree with you.