Coders at Work

Coders at Work

  • Reflections on the Craft of Programming
  • Peter Seibel
  • Programming
  • Amazon.co.uk

Peter Seibel interviewed 15 programmers, after 284 names had been submitted to the Coders at Work web-site, to find out how they approach software development, what they find interesting and what keeps them writing code.

I think I bought it expecting something different. I was hoping to read Anatomy of a Crushing as told by 15 different people. I was hoping to read how one lone developer managed to get Jurassic Park back on line. Even after being a software developer for 25 years I hadn’t heard of any of the people interviewed. I had heard of the software they had written, or been a part of developing, but not the people involved. I guess that is part of it, these are the un-sung heroes that keep the computer world turning.

Overall I was glad to read that the majority of debugging is done using straight print statements. And I’ve never read a book where the Lisp programming language is mentioned as often. Just one of the many programming languages that I haven’t ever seen or used.

If you’re a software developer you may find it interesting but it is all old school, command line, code editors, compilers, switches and paper tape. There is hardly any mention of IDEs or Microsoft and the book is all the better for it.

  • Reviewed on Monday, 04 July 2011
  • Tagged with book review