I suspect that like myself, a lot of other users on this site are software developers and are also on Stack Overflow, so hopefully this isn't considered too off topic/niche...

When Hashem creates Adam, Adam is described as being betzelem elokim - in Hashem's image. I think that different professions can relate to this in different ways. A judge may relate to Hashem's aspect of justice and a social worker may relate to His aspect of mercy/kindness. I feel that software developers relate to Hashem's aspect of creativity - we're probably the only job where we give a command and something is brought into existence just from the command itself. We also probably relate to the aspect of justice as well as we focus a lot on rules, and perhaps if we want to ensure a system that does the job well for users, we need to focus on mercy/kindness.

With that in mind, I've been thinking about what we can learn from the Torah in terms of software development. When Hashem created the universe, He did it in multiple steps, even though He could have just brought it into being fully formed. We can learn the importance of building a system in small iterations from this.

When Avraham's three visitors arrive, Rashi explains that these are malachim - angels - messengers of Hashem. According to that opinion, I think this is probably one of the best times in the Torah that we get insight into the way that the universe is run day to day as the malachim are entities who have an essential role in the functioning of the universe. Rashi explains that each messenger only has a single mission. Hashem could easily have made malachim be capable of multiple functions, but each one has a distinct role. I suggest that we can learn the Single Responsibility Principle from here.

From the same incident, we might have thought that if a single malach was sent just to tell Avraham that he would have a son, the destruction of Sodom would require multiple malachim given the difference in scale of the 2 tasks, but only 1 malach seems to have been sent for that role. Perhaps we can say that we can learn the KISS/DRY principles from here (that's probably a weaker argument).

Finally getting to the actual question... what other principles of software development can we learn from the Torah?

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  • @JoelK That's a great PTIJ, but I'm actually asking this as a serious question! Nov 6, 2023 at 9:21
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    I've heard that everything can be a lesson in serving Hashem, but this is an interesting inversion.
    – shmosel
    Nov 6, 2023 at 9:36
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    – msh210
    Nov 6, 2023 at 9:57
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    A lot of Jews suffer from digestive problems. If God, the programmer, messes up a semicolon in heaven, it affects our colons down on earth. Nov 6, 2023 at 12:23

1 Answer 1


There is a relevant book which I saw once on the topic: Torah && Tech: Discussions at the Intersection of Torah and Technology

It is a selection of divrei Torah on the parasha with relevant applications to technology.

The book's blurb says

Torah && Tech is a discussion at the intersection of one of the world's oldest wisdom traditions and the modern technological world.

How do we understand artificial intelligence? What is mentorship in a fast-paced business environment? Who owns code? What is the role of self-interest? These and many other questions are covered in this volume of ideas from two rabbis turned software developers.

Ethics and technology are not an either/or proposition. The two must walk hand-in-hand in order to shape the ever-evolving world around us for the good and betterment of all people. Torah && Tech is an exploration into that crucial conversation.

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