Home > Uncategorized > Eat, Pray, Code: Rule of St. Benedict Becomes Tech Developer’s Community Guidelines

SQLite, the most-used database engine of the 21st century, throws back to a code of conduct created by a sixth-century monk.

Given Christianity’s precarious position in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to tell who’d be more surprised to find the teachings of St. Benedict as the code of conduct for one of the most ubiquitous pieces of software on the planet: believers themselves or the crowd of digital programmers who recently balked at the divinely inspired guidelines.

SQLite—a database management engine used in most major browsers, smart phones, Adobe products, and Skype—adopted a code of ethics pulled directly from the biblical precepts set by the venerated sixth-century monk.

This week, many programmers discovered SQLite’s unusually religious guidelines, which include the Great Commandment and the Ten Commandments, as well as teachings such as “devote yourself frequently to prayer” and “prefer nothing more than the love of Christ.”

Founder D. Richard Hipp responded by defending and explaining the relevance of the historic monastic rule to this modern-day tech landscape. He said he found typical codes of conduct to be “vapid.” So when clients began to request one for SQLite, the Christian developer preferred to create something more substantial than “trendy, feel-good statements.”

Hipp does not require users of the public domain software to follow Christian teachings, but instead “pledged to govern their interactions with each other, with their clients, and with the larger SQLite user community in accordance with the ‘instruments of good works’ from the fourth chapter of The Rule of St. Benedict,” the code’s introduction reads.

“This code of ethics has proven its mettle in thousands of diverse communities for over 1,500 years, and has …

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