Adam over at derwiki talks about the beauty and creative process of programming. Why, he asks, do we say someone could have a passion for painting, or a photography hobby, but not be driven to program in their spare time?
A well designed component or architecture has elegance and sophistication; simplicity yet robustness. You step back, look at the code, say “Damn, that’s gorgeous”, and you know when you’ve created beauty instead of just hacking out a quick fix. This element of beauty is something that I’ve found lacking in a lot of code and with a lot of programmers. Too often programming is treated like a boring job of necessity than the passionate job of creativity that it can be.