The notion of a genetic program has been widely criticized by both biologists and philosophers. But the debate has revolved around a narrow conception of what programs are and how they work, and many criticisms are linked to this same conception. To remedy this, I outline a modern and more apt idea of a program that possesses many of the features critics thought missing from programs. Moving away from oversimplistic conceptions of programs opens the way to a more fruitful interplay of ideas between the complexity of biology and our most complex engineering discipline.