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Coders at Work : Reflections on the Craft of Programming (edição: 2009)

de Peter Seibel

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6931724,467 (4.02)4
Peter Seibel interviews 15 of the most interesting computer programmers alive today in Coders at Work, offering a companion volume to Apress's highly acclaimed best-seller Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. As the words "at work" suggest, Peter Seibel focuses on how his interviewees tackle the day-to-day work of programming, while revealing much more, like how they became great programmers, how they recognize programming talent in others, and what kinds of problems they find most interesting. Hundreds of people have suggested names of programmers to interview on the Coders at Work web site: www.codersatwork.com. The complete list was 284 names. Having digested everyone's feedback, we selected 15 folks who've been kind enough to agree to be interviewed: Frances Allen: Pioneer in optimizing compilers, first woman to win the Turing Award (2006) and first female IBM fellow Joe Armstrong: Inventor of Erlang Joshua Bloch: Author of the Java collections framework, now at Google Bernie Cosell: One of the main software guys behind the original ARPANET IMPs and a master debugger Douglas Crockford: JSON founder, JavaScript architect at Yahoo! L. Peter Deutsch: Author of Ghostscript, implementer of Smalltalk-80 at Xerox PARC and Lisp 1.5 on PDP-1 Brendan Eich: Inventor of JavaScript, CTO of the Mozilla Corporation Brad Fitzpatrick: Writer of LiveJournal, OpenID, memcached, and Perlbal Dan Ingalls: Smalltalk implementor and designer Simon Peyton Jones: Coinventor of Haskell and lead designer of Glasgow Haskell Compiler Donald Knuth: Author of The Art of Computer Programming and creator of TeX Peter Norvig: Director of Research at Google and author of the standard text on AI Guy Steele: Coinventor of Scheme and part of the Common Lisp Gang of Five, currently working on Fortress Ken Thompson: Inventor of UNIX Jamie Zawinski: Author of XEmacs and early Netscape/Mozilla hacker… (mais)
Membro:flint63
Título:Coders at Work : Reflections on the Craft of Programming
Autores:Peter Seibel
Informação:Apress (2009), Edition: 1, Paperback, 632 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Coding, Key Skills, Software Process, _monograph, _ebook

Detalhes da Obra

Coders at Work: Reflections of the Craft of Programming de Peter Seibel

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, hafsteinn, paven, nfactor13, EmsiHQ
  1. 30
    Programmers at Work: Interviews With 19 Programmers Who Shaped the Computer Industry (Tempus) de Susan Lammers (JonathanGorman)
    JonathanGorman: Programmers at Work focuses more on the folks making a splash in the 80s (when the interviews were done) and also concentrated on industry folks a little more. Like Coders at Work though, it's an excellent collection of interviews. Coders at Work seems to take a broader range of folks and obviously as the new book references more recent trend.… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 17 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I loved "Coders at work". It consists of in-depth interviews with 15 very accomplished and famous programmers. The author Peter Seibel has, in my opinion, done an outstanding job with these interviews.

First, he picked a stellar set of super star programmers to interview. Second, he asked very interesting questions, some of which only a fellow programmer would ask. Third, he asked several questions to all of his subjects, which allows the reader to compare and contrast the answers, while also asking questions about each programmer's special areas of interest.

To give you a sense of the questions he asked, here are some samples: "How do you design code?", "What is the worst bug you've ever had to track down?", "What's your preferred debugging techniques and tools? Print statements? Symbolic debuggers? Formal proofs?" and "As a programmer, do you consider yourself a scientist, an engineer, an artist, or a craftsman?". I think these are all excellent questions, and I learned a lot by reading all the different answers.

Each interview is on average 40 pages long (the whole book is about 600 pages), so it took me a while to read it, even though it was a pretty easy read. But this also means that there is room to ask a lot of questions. You can tell from the questions and follow-up questions that Peter Seibel is himself an experienced programmer. In addition, he seems very well read. He recognizes and comments on almost any book or research paper that is mentioned during the interviews. For example, Joshua Bloch mentioned the book Hacker's Delight, and Peter Seibel's comment is "that's the bit-twiddling book?".

Occasionally there are some pretty funny comments from Peter Seibel too. When Simon Peyton Jones talked about how he had not had a lot of experience with C , he ended by saying "... I never really spent several years writing big C programs. That's how you get some kind of deep, visceral feel and I never have". To which Peter Seibel replied "I think that feeling is usually revulsion".

While reading the book, I wondered whether I would get tired of the interviews by the end, but that did not happen. It kept being interesting till the end (and that's not just because Donald Knuth, arguably the most famous of them all, is last). For me, the most interesting interviews were the ones with Simon Peyton Jones and Peter Norvig. But even the least interesting interviews (for me that was the ones with L Peter Deutsch and Fran Allen) were still very good. In fact, even a single one of these interviews is worth the price of the book in my opinion.

There is also a historical quality to the book. The majority of the people interviewed started programming in the 50s or the early 60s. One of the standard questions was "How did you learn to program?" and I thought it was quite interesting to read about the old computers they used, the punch cards etc. It was almost like little history lessons from the computing field.

Almost as soon as I started reading this book, I grabbed a piece of paper and jotted down things of interest: concepts I hadn't heard about before, quotes, new languages to try, references to papers and blog posts, books that were recommended etc. When I got to the end, I had accumulated 6 full pages worth of notes. To me, that's an indication of the quality of the interviews, and of the value I got out of the book.

OK, one small complaint: it would have been nice with a picture of each of the interviewees, so we can see what they look like.

It is also worth mentioning that both Joe Armstrong and Simon Peyton Jones have been interviewed at Software Engineering Radio ([...]) - both those interviews were very good, definitely worth listening to. Also, Peter Seibel was interview about "Coders at work" by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky on the StackOverflow podcast (episode 69). And Peter Seibel has some interesting blog posts with excerpts from the book at his site [...] - check them out.

If you are seriously interested in programming, this is definitely one of the books you should read. Highly recommended. ( )
  Henrik_Warne | Dec 13, 2020 |
Software developers are typically bright people but possess few social contacts who approach the world like them. Such loneliness is famously parodied by stereotypes. Even the most social among us have a difficult time relating to others what programming is like. In this work, Seibel provides interviews with 15 accomplished programmers and alleviates some of that alone-ness. In so doing, he explains to the English-speaking world how computer programming has grown and is currently practiced.

The interviewees compose a veritable who’s who of computer science – including, at the end, Donald Knuth, who is widely regarded as the best programmer of all time. Fran Allen, a widely recognized female programmer, is included. Some were educated well at Harvard or MIT. Others were, to a large degree, self-taught before the discipline of computer science was established. All convey a unique perspective about how they write code.

For the most part, Seibel asks each person a similar set of questions: about their background, formative experiences, approach to the craft of coding, and their approach to a new trend of literate programming. It’s amazing to see how wide the range of different opinions is! They all seem to disagree, especially about very important things. Providing room for (sometimes heated) disagreements is healthy for computer programmers who are smart but have few companions. After all, we must work together to accomplish work.

This is not a technical work. Neither code nor math is presented. It’s more of a biographical work of 16 different programmers. It spans the lanes of human interest and computer science. Non-programmers might be interested in learning how IT people work, but the obvious audience here consists of software developers. By grabbing big-name interviews, Seibel hits the sweet spot for this audience and knocks a homer out of the park.

In particular, expositions such as this allow people to see the history of computing. Readers get to see innovators, spanning back to the 1950s until the date of publication in 2009. These people changed the world such that a mini-computer resides in many people’s pockets in the developed world, in the form of a smart phone. They went from coding in assembly code to writing in higher-level languages to co-writing in more everyday language. That history of science will be of interest to readers in the future when future students seek to learn about the “old days” when computers were young. And we will have the writer Peter Seibel to thank. ( )
  scottjpearson | Nov 26, 2020 |
I read this over several months, in 10-minute bursts on my daily T ride to work. I'd have bits and pieces of this rattling around in my head at work some days.

It was an odd feeling reading the experiences and thoughts of programmers who by and large came of age during a time where it was quite reasonable for a human to understand the entirety of what a computer was doing. We now work instead in a world of dizzying but invisible depth in technology; able to do amazing things, but no single human can comprehend the whole of it. ( )
  thegreatape | Jan 7, 2020 |
Truely inspiring and interesting collection of interviews with well known programmers. The only thing bothering me slightly while reading the book is that Seidel seems to stick to his collection of pre baked questions a bit too rigorously. In quite a few cases he misses obvious follow up questions. An overview of all the works recommended by the interviewees would have been nice as well. ( )
  Boekuuh | Nov 21, 2017 |
A great book for old guys like me who started programing with punched cards. ( )
  RFBrost | Nov 2, 2017 |
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Peter Seibel interviews 15 of the most interesting computer programmers alive today in Coders at Work, offering a companion volume to Apress's highly acclaimed best-seller Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. As the words "at work" suggest, Peter Seibel focuses on how his interviewees tackle the day-to-day work of programming, while revealing much more, like how they became great programmers, how they recognize programming talent in others, and what kinds of problems they find most interesting. Hundreds of people have suggested names of programmers to interview on the Coders at Work web site: www.codersatwork.com. The complete list was 284 names. Having digested everyone's feedback, we selected 15 folks who've been kind enough to agree to be interviewed: Frances Allen: Pioneer in optimizing compilers, first woman to win the Turing Award (2006) and first female IBM fellow Joe Armstrong: Inventor of Erlang Joshua Bloch: Author of the Java collections framework, now at Google Bernie Cosell: One of the main software guys behind the original ARPANET IMPs and a master debugger Douglas Crockford: JSON founder, JavaScript architect at Yahoo! L. Peter Deutsch: Author of Ghostscript, implementer of Smalltalk-80 at Xerox PARC and Lisp 1.5 on PDP-1 Brendan Eich: Inventor of JavaScript, CTO of the Mozilla Corporation Brad Fitzpatrick: Writer of LiveJournal, OpenID, memcached, and Perlbal Dan Ingalls: Smalltalk implementor and designer Simon Peyton Jones: Coinventor of Haskell and lead designer of Glasgow Haskell Compiler Donald Knuth: Author of The Art of Computer Programming and creator of TeX Peter Norvig: Director of Research at Google and author of the standard text on AI Guy Steele: Coinventor of Scheme and part of the Common Lisp Gang of Five, currently working on Fortress Ken Thompson: Inventor of UNIX Jamie Zawinski: Author of XEmacs and early Netscape/Mozilla hacker

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