How many of you programmers write your programs in paper anymore? I am playing with the ideas right now and experimenting with whether it is a worthy thing to do or not. I already know and acknowledge the benefits of writing out papers and other documents by hand in long form on paper first. I think it is a great way to develop concise, clear, and well thought out papers or other sorts of writings. If I look at writing a program like writing a good essay, which is how you look at it if you are writing in a WEB or Literate style, then you could reason that writing the programs out in paper first might give you some advantages. What are those advantages exactly? In this day in age when you want to produce as much code as you can, does this really work?

Here are the criterion by which I intend to judge my own handwritten programming styles. Firstly, does it improve the quality of the code that I produce? That is, for the same amount of time, is the program that I get at the end, along with the accompanying documentation better or worse off than if I had done the entire thing digitally? Secondly, is it more efficient? Do I spend less overall time getting to a deliverable if I use paper than if I had started on the computer?

I don't know the answers to these questions yet, but I do know that some very well renowed programmers think it is a terrible idea, and others who are equally well renowed (maybe more so) only program by first starting things out on paper, and then moving to the computer.

I do not know which camp I will fall into, since I have not written enough programs like this to be sure, but I hope to find out before the semester is out!