The Seen and The Unseen Part 1

Shweta Barge
Published in
6 min readJul 21, 2020

Written By Shweta Barge, Shrirang Karandikar.

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Programming is a skill anyone can learn with time and effort. I’ve been programming for four years and I am still learning. My general approach for learning any programming language was to understand the syntax and eventually develop expertise in this language by taking up problems and solving them in software. However, “proper” software development follows a procedure of gathering requirements and analyzing, designing, and developing implementations that meet those requirements. I started adding these steps to my practice. As I started gaining more experience, I realized that there is more than just meeting the requirements.

The Seen and The Unseen is a series of articles. Part 1 talks about different aspects of programming.

1. The Seen and The Unseen Part 1

2. The Seen and The Unseen Part 2 — Geometric Series

3. The Seen and The Unseen Part 3 — Exponential function

4. The Seen and The Unseen Part 4 — Trigonometric function

Part 2, 3, and 4 explain with an example, what effect do different implementation choices have on these aspects and how they affect the software.

With apologies to Frederic Bastiat’s “That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen”, I refer to the concept of writing a program that meets the requirements as the seen aspect of it. However, software development is more than this. Good software is maintainable, ensures correctness, and is reliable. This is what I call the unseen part of it.

“That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen” explains how a habit or a law in the department of economy gives birth to not only an effect but also a series of effects. He refers to the immediate effect of law as ‘That Which is Seen’ and then a series of effects unfold in succession — ‘Which is Not Seen’. To briefly explain this concept I will use ‘The Broken Window’ example from the essay. A window in a shop is broken. It costs shopkeeper six francs to fix the window. These six francs is the glazier’s pay for fixing the broken window. What is seen is that the broken window caused the money to circulate. What is not seen is if the window was not broken the shopkeeper would have used this money somewhere else, perhaps…