Natty Gur recently blogged about an analogy for software development he heard from Leonard Fehskens that doesn’t involve building architecture and construction. The analogy appreciates the creativity aspect while at the same time recognising an underlying structure (Nice analogy between Architecture and Music).
Along the same lines, Korby Parnell has a post (Word of the Day: Recherché) about the Pulitzer Prize winning (in 1980) Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. I remember purchasing this book almost 20 years ago when I was still going to sea (It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...) and reading voraciously. I wasn’t quite ready for the book back then, but I held on to it knowing I’d grow into it eventually.
It’s interesting to note that GEB reputedly provided inspiration for Erich Gamma and the ideas captured in the GOF book, Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. You’ll often find both books listed as references on the same page.