Making programmable things, such as prototypes and other interactive physical artefacts, has inherent value for Research through Design inquiries. However, the intersection between programming and Research through Design appears to have received little attention. To investigate this issue, we conducted a literature review examining 51 papers. In nearly every case, the artefact’s program and the act of programming appear to be severely under-documented. It does not seem to matter where the code came from, what kind of responsiveness the behaviour has, how responsive the interaction is, or how the code maps to the perceived behaviour. Analysis of our corpus revealed six themes and three leverage points for supporting designerly research’s engagement with programming. We use these to offer recommendations to deepen and broaden the range of insights that may be articulated by Research through Design that involves interactive artefacts.