«Working on the command line, hands poised over the keys uninterrupted by frequent reaches for the mouse, is a posture familiar to wordsmiths (especially the really old guys who once worked on teletypes or electric typewriters). It makes some of the same demands as writing an essay. Both require composition skills. Both demand a thorough knowledge of grammar and syntax. Both reward mastery with powerful, compact expression.
At the risk of alienating both techies and writers alike, I also suggest that UNIX offers something else prized in literature: a coherence, a consistent style, something writers call a voice. It doesn't take much exposure to UNIX before you realize that the UNIX core was the creation of a very few well-synchronized minds. I've never met Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, or Ken Thompson, but after a decade and a half on UNIX I imagine I might greet them as friends, knowing something of the shape of their thoughts.»