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121 - Realising Software Development as a Lived Experience


This essay discusses software development from the perspective of Empirical Modelling (EM), an approach to computing that draws on the construals of David Gooding, Bruno Latour’s vexing notion of construction and William James’s radical empiricism. It argues that effective software development must embrace semantic principles radically different from those endorsed by the traditional perspective on software that is based on computational thinking. Of paramount importance is the immediacy of the developer’s experience of the relationship between software as an artefact on the computer and software as an agency in the world.


Online in Proceedings of Onward! '12, the ACM international symposium on New ideas, new paradigms, and reflections on programming and software, at the url:

A version of the essay prepared by the author in accordance with the terms of the ACM copyright is accessible from the following link.

The presentation given at Onward2012 was based on a JS-EDEN model of the essay projected using an adapted form of the JS-EDEN presentation environment. The essay and slides can be accessed via the Onward2012 essay construal at

The original form of the presentation can be accessed by invoking the JS-EDEN interpreter at in a Google Chrome browser and entering include("models/Onward2012/run.js-e"); in the EDEN Interpreter Window.