I’m reading Stephen King’s book On Writing and he believes that one of the most important things a writer can do is read. The other most important thing is writing, but that’s not what I want to talk about.

I started wondering if all creative professions benefit from consuming in the same way. Do good film makers watch a lot of movies, painters take in a lot of paintings, and metalsmiths look at a lot of jewelry? I’d bet so.

So then what do software developers consume? Some may argue that software development is engineering and not art. That is true in many situations, especially in corporations where a developer is working on only a tiny bit of the overall application.

But I live a different situation, and many others also do, where we build the whole application. And now that I think about it, I should be consuming more of the types of things I do. But what is analogous to a writer reading? It is a software developer reading code?

I don’t think it is. I think the proper analogy is a software developer using apps. I feel like I don’t do enough of this and I think it could really help me make better apps, as I see how things are done well or poorly.

Are you consuming enough of the right things?