The Bellevue Arts Festival and Software Development

This past Saturday my family and I went to the Bellevue Arts Festival near our home here in Washington. I'm constantly amazed by the "artist's eye" - someone gifted with being able to see what they want to draw, or paint, or make art out of any material. For instance, there was one exhibit that was regular furniture composed from small trees, rocks and other organic material. It wasn't just that the furniture was made of branches and so on, but that they were put together such that they looked as if the furniture grew that way. Very impressive.

So why mention this on a technical blog? Well, as I walked around and saw the traditional and non-traditional art pieces, I tried to imagine how these things were thought about by the artists before they created them. One of the interesting things about being at Microsoft is learning to think about software in the same way. Sure, we could put a button here or a text box there, but how will that really help the DBA or Developer? Would it be better to remove that panel entirely and put the control in a more intuitive area?

If you're in IT, I highly recommend visiting a few art exhibits - especially the ones that have more than just paintings and sculptures. You might find some inspiration there for your own work.

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