From an article about programming by Jeff Atwood:

Unlike applications, web applications are not released in one to three year cycles. They are updated every day, sometimes every hour. Rather than being finished paintings, they are sketches, continually being redrawn in response to new data.

I compare web applications to Von Kempelen’s famous hoax, the mechanical Turk, a 1770 mechanical chess playing machine with a man hidden inside. Web applications aren’t a hoax, but like the mechanical Turk, they do have a programmer inside. And that programmer is sketching away madly.

I like this because it’s so very true. The web sites I build change weekly, daily, sometimes hourly as customers ask for new features, minor tweaks, and other random changes. It’s fast-paced and exciting to watch a site evolve, but at the same time it’s dangerous territory for a programmer because a mistake instantly affects all kinds of users immediately. Whoops.

Many moons ago I did application programming and loved it, but I think I like web programming because it’s fast and dirty and just plain fun to slam out a new feature only hours after someone asks for it.