Today, we meet Ben Dumke-von der Ehe, one of the early developers on the Stack Overflow team.
He was on the front lines as the platform transformed how programmers worked. And he embodies the spirit of Stack Overflow: Its transparency, playfulness, and even some of its struggles to be as welcoming and friendly as it... more..
How do you accomplish something massive over time? I’ve had the chance to meet with a number of exceptional software developers and it’s something I always wonder about.
Today, I might have an answer with the incredible story of Yann Collet.
Yann was a project manager who went from being burnt out on corporate life... more..
This is foundational stuff for the web, and... more..
Shai Almog worked at Sun on Mobile JVMs just as phones started to turn from phones into something else.
Sun had deep expertise in mobile development, and unique engineering-driven culture, and relationships with manufacturers and operators. And yet internal politics and the collapse of its server market made it hard to get things done.
I’ve been on many projects that get canceled. We’re building cool stuff. We’re going above and beyond, and we’re excited. But the project encounters reality, shifting priorities, or budgeting constraints, and the work never goes anywhere. It always feels tragic, but then I move on.
But what if I didn’t let a project get canceled?... more..
Nothing good comes from being insecure about your worth, especially at your job. That’s what today’s episode is about. That’s what today’s guest is here to discuss.
It’s a slow burn, but if you listen to the end, I think you will value yourself more professionally. My Guest is Don Mckay. Someone longtime listeners will... more..
Today Rebecca Burger Becky Heineman shares the tale of porting Doom to the 3DO console under extreme conditions. There is an engine to tweak, deadlines to hit, hardware acceleration to get working, and dramatic rock anthems to record.
We also learn about how game piracy led her to game development and what it was like... more..
Today’s story is from Son Luong Ngoc, who shares what it was like for him to work and live in many different countries around the world, including working for Alibaba at the Xixi campus in Hangzhou, China (Son’s photos of the Alibaba campus).
It’s a story of a software developer finding a place that... more..
What could you accomplish if your teammates were all excited and determined to hit some project timelines? What is it like for a group of people to give it all they have? That’s what today is about.
Chet Haase from the Android team is here to share the story of the early days of Android,... more..
I believe that getting underrepresented groups into software development is a good thing. This is not a controversial opinion until you start talking about felons.
Today’s guest is Rick Wolter. He’s an iOS developer who served 18 years in prison for second degree murder. Rick killed somebody and for some that’s all they need to... more..
CPAN was the first open-source software module repository. And on this day, Aug 1st, in 1995, CPAN was first announced to a private group of PERL users.
And why does this matter? Who is still using PERL anyhow? CPAN inspired everything that would follow: npm, maven, cargo, nuget, hackage, ruby gems, python pypi and so... more..
I recently got an email from Jeff Shrager, who said he’d been working hard to solve a mystery about some famous code.
Eliza, the chatbot, was built in 1964, and she didn’t answer questions like Alexa or Siri. She asked questions. She was a therapist chatbot and quickly became famous after being described in a... more..
On June 1st, 2014, the following question showed up on hacker news:
Why is 80 characters, the standard limit for code width. Why 80?
Why not? 79 or 81 or even a hundred.
So you probably know what happens next. People started to post their opinions and the comments and other people started... more..
Have you ever had a unique approach to a problem and been excited to use it, but you’re met with skepticism?
Today’s story: what happens if you take someone who’s passionate about LISP and put them in an organization where that’s just not how they write software.
Today’s story is about getting LISP into space.... more..
On this day in 2014, “lame april fools’ jokes” were banned from hacker news.
Today in our first This-Day-in-History segment, I want to share some of history not just of April Fools’, but of tech pranks in general, all leading up to 2014.
Why were pranks and April Fools’ jokes traditionally celebrated in tech? Why... more..
Whenever I work on a side project, I can’t help but daydream of it taking off in a big way. For today’s guests, something like that did happen.
When Nadia started building her side project, she didn’t know that it would end up spreading virally. She didn’t know that it would end up competing with... more..
How would you build an operating system?
My answer is I wouldn’t. First off, I don’t know how. And the second thing is it seems like to large of a task. It took thousands of developers to build Windows XP.
But actually, it is possible to build an operating system from scratch. My guest is... more..
Today, I have two of my favorite guests together: Krystal Maughan and Don McKay. We are going to be sharing strange and interesting facts about computing.
I’m super pumped about this because, sometimes, I learn something new, and I’m excited about it. And I want to tell people about it. And so today is a... more..
The last episode, I said I wasn’t sure there was such a thing as culture, but that’s not the case. Every place I’ve worked has been a bit different, and often those differences had huge impacts on the software we built.
The team where people roll their eyes at UX feedback will not have as... more..
Today’s story is an insider view of Debian. One of the oldest Linux distributions and probably one of the longest-running volunteer-based open-source projects.
Joey Hess is my guest, and he dedicated significant parts of his adult life to working on Debian. He’s going to share what that was like. The good and the bad, and... more..
Today’s episode is about remote work. Well, sort of. I found someone with a different perspective on remote work and a fantastic story to share, Paul Lutus.
I think that he might be the original remote software developer.
He left California behind for a lower cost of living in Oregon. And from Oregon, he developed... more..
Today, previous guest and my neighbor Don Mckay and I will discuss items from the endless fascinating Cursed Computer Iceberg Meme. The Iceberg is a giant list of “the peculiarities and weirdness of computers.”
We each a select few items from the list and alternate explaining it to each other. Don’s choices are varied,... more..
Today’s show: How to quit your job and work on open source full time.
This story has it all – balancing side projects and full-time employment, building up enough supports to leave your job, and explaining quitting to your family and friends.
And also: what do you do if your project succeeds, and then someone... more..
On today’s show, I’m talking to Richard Hipp about surviving becoming core infrastructure for the world. SQLite is everywhere. It’s in your web browser, it’s in your phone, it’s probably in your car, and it’s definitely in commercial planes. It’s where your iMessages and WhatsApp messages are stored, and if you do a find on... more..
Today on the show, we have solving algorithmic programming problems. You know when you interview for a job to write CSS and they ask you to reverse a binary tree on the whiteboard using C and in constant memory space? It’s that kind of thing. These problems have their roots in algorithmic programming contests. And... more..
Today I talk to Dan Robinson about trying to get someone their money back on Ethereum. He’s going to be battling this murky world of blockchain high-frequency bots. Along the way, we’ll learn how trades are executed on Ethereum and a bit of game theory and political philosophy.
It’s an entertaining peek into a world... more..
David Shayer worked at Apple for 14 years, and he has a wild experience to share. Apple has a unique culture, and David will give us an insider view of what it was like for him at Apple during the 2000s, roughly between 2001 to 2015 when Apple transformed into the powerhouse that it is... more..
I’m not really a big gamer, but lately, I’ve fallen down this rabbit hole into the world of Casey Muratori, and this project that he started on Twitch in 2014. He is building a video game from scratch and explaining it all as he goes along.
Casey is a professional video game and game engine,... more..
If you ever wanted to learn about machine learning you could do worse than have Jason Gauci teach you. Jason has worked on YouTube recommendations. He was an early contributor to TensorFlow the open-source machine learning platform. His thesis work was cited by DeepMind.
But what I find so fascinating with Jason is he recognized... more..
Welcome to the year-end episode. Today is all the bonus questions. Often times I have questions that I want to ask guests, but they don’t quite fit the overall theme of the episode. So today we’re going to do a whole episode of those extra questions.
I have previously recorded questions for Brian Kernighan, the... more..
Did you ever meet somebody who seemed a little bit different than the rest of the world? Maybe they question things that others wouldn’t question or said things that others would never say. Daniel is a world-renowned expert on software performance, and one of the most popular open-source developers, if you measure by Github followers.... more..
When you work on your computer, there are so many things you take for granted: operating systems, programming languages, they all have to come from somewhere.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, that somewhere was Bell Labs, and the operating system they were building was UNIX.
They were building more than just an operating system... more..
How do CPUs work? How do compilers work? How does high-level code get translated into machine code? Today’s guest is Matt Godbolt and he knows the answers to these questions.
How he became an expert in bare metal programming is an interesting story. Matt shares his origin story and the creation of compiler explorer in... more..
Preparing our minds for the inevitable is hard. But, after facing terminal cancer, Kate Gregory recalled that facing death has many lessons to teach us.
In this episode, Kate will share the lessons she learned and explain how you can apply them to your career as a software developer and live a remarkable life.more..
Along the way, Richard finds that people are teaching functional programming wrong. We are teaching it in a way that misses how most industrial software engineers learn best.
Richard also delves into Elm, his approach, and how... more..
Software is just the tool and it should get out of your way. In this episode, Jim discusses how to build a great developer tool. It all started with: “What’s the worst software that you use every day?” and led to the creation of Subversion.more..
Choosing the programming language or framework for a project can be to the success of the project.
In today’s episode, Sean Allen shares a story of picking the right tool for a job. The tool he ends up picking will surprise you.
His problem: make a distributed stream processing framework, something that can take a... more..
Things are easier to learn when you are passionate about something. A lot of great careers are built on curiosity and obsession including Krystal Maughan our guest for today’s episode.
Krystal will share her journey as she chased her curiosity in programming wherever it led her.more..
There’s joy that can be found in language learning and pain as well. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there are still some things you can only discover by picking up a new language.
Bruce Tate will tell us how learning new languages rekindled the spark of joy for him.more..
Today the story of how twitter engineers came up with a unique solution to data engineering.
Adam interviews Sam about how the abstract algebra and probabilistic data structures help solve fast versus big data issues that many are struggling with.
Adam talks to Sam Ritchie, a machine learning researcher. Stop in to hear Adam and... more..
Legacy code is everywhere. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who doesn’t have to deal with legacy code in the substantial portion of his work.
Our guest, Jonathan Boccara is a French C++ developer and the author of The Legacy Code Programmer’s Toolbox. In this episode, Jonathan will help us understand and build the correct... more..
Adam talks to Karl Hughes about his path to becoming a conference speaker and the work he has done to make it easier for others to follow in his footsteps.more..
Today we try a different format. Adam invites his neighbour, Don McKay, over to ask him questions. An interesting discussion on recursion, corecursion and the naming of the podcast unfolds.more..
David Heinemeier Hansson talks to Adam about avoiding a software monoculture. He explains why we should find a programming language that speaks to us, why ergonomics matter, and why single page apps and microservices are not for him.more..
Today Adam talks to Shadaj Laddad. What is React? Why do we need front end frameworks at all. Shadaj explains modern front end web development. He also explains why he likes to use react from scala.js and built a framework to make that easy for all.more..
How do you build a business around tools for software engineers? Adam talks to Lee Edwards, a VC who spends a lot of time thinking about this question.more..
Adam talks to Author and Clojure advocate Zach Tellman about how great software is built.more..
Generative Art involves using the tools of computation to creative ends. Adam talks to Allison Parrish about how she uses word vectors to create unique poetry. Word vectors represent a fundamentally new tool for working with text.
Adam and Allison also talk about creative computer programming and building twitter bots and what makes something art.... more..
What makes some pieces of technology take off? Why is java popular and not small talk or Haskell?
Gabe is a popular blogger, a former Haskell cheerleader, and creator of the Dhall configuration language. Today we talk about marketing and tech evangelism.more..
Adam talks to Hal Abelson about the textbook he coauthored in 1985, The Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs and why it is still popular and influential today.more..
Heather Miller is an Assistant Professor at CMU. She is concerned that key open source projects are at risk of failure and no one is paying attention. Adam talks to her about open source, how it grows, the diversity problems it has and much more.
Heather also shares some interesting stories about the early days... more..
What do compilers do? What is the runtime of a language? What does it mean to compile something down to bytecode and what executes the bytecode. Throsten Ball answers these questions in this interview with Adam.more..
How do we create great software? What are the important skills need to properly review a PR? How do you identify assumptions of a code base and the stable contracts of a software module?
Jimmy Koppel is working on his Ph.D. in the field of program synthesis at MIT. He was previously paid 100 thousand... more..
Today Adam talks to Bartosz Milewski. He is the author of a popular blog series, lecture series, and now book on Category Theory for programmers.
The world of functional programming is rife with terminology imported from abstract algebra and Category Theory. In fact, it may be one of the most valid criticisms of functional programming... more..
Chris is a software developer at LinkedIn who, at his previous gig, worked on converting one of the largest Ember apps in the world to TypeScript. I was shocked by the size. Chris... more..
Self-driving cars or armed autonomous military robots may make use of the same technologies. In a certain sense, we as software developers are helping to build and shape the future. What does the future look like and are we helping build the right one? Is technology a force for liberty or oppression.
Cory Doctorow is... more..
Bob Nystrom is the author of Crafting Interpreters. I speak with Nystrom about building a programming language and an interpreter implementation for it. We talk about parsing, the difference between compiler and interpreters and a lot more.
If you are wondering why many languages have hand-rolled parser implementations yet much content on building languages implementations... more..
Formal verification and type systems - how do they relate? Niki Vazou is on a mission to bring better formal verification to the masses.
I have done a couple of episodes about dependent types and my feeling is that dependent types are super powerful and have some conceptual simplicity ( Types are a first class... more..
Can we make databases faster and remove the need for caching reads in an external cache? Can we make a distributed SQL based relational database that outperforms memcached? Jon Gjengset and the PDOS team at MIT CSAIL have done just that with Noria.
Today I talk to Jon about Noria, about building a database in... more..
Andy Hunt is a celebrity in the world of software development. Or at least he is one to me. The Pragmatic Programmer is a classic book on software development book. He is an author of the agile manifesto and started the book company that has published many great books, including several by recent guests.
Pat Helland has a wealth of knowledge on building distributed data stores. He has been working on distributed data stores since 1978, when he worked on the tandem fault-tolerant database. Since then he has been involved in many distributed database projects.
Here is the key thing, he is also a master at explaining the key... more..
What is abstraction? Can we have a precise definition of abstraction that, once understood, makes writing software simpler?
Runar has thought a lot about abstraction and how we can choose the proper level for the software we write.
In this interview, he explains these concepts using examples from the real world. Examples include SQL, effectful... more..
Richard Whaling has an interesting perspective on software development. If you write software for the JVM or if you are interested in low level system programming, or even doing data heavy or network heavy IO programming then you will find this interview interesting.
We discuss how to build faster software in a modern fashion by... more..
A decade ago Jamis Buck was not loving his job. He was an important open source contributor. He worked for the hottest trendiest software company at the time, 37 signals, creator of ruby on rails.
He was on top of the world but also he was burnt out.
Today Jamis talks about how he overcame... more..
Which operating system is the best? Which programming language is the best? What text editor?
Bryan Cantrill, CTO of Joyent says that is the wrong question. Languages, operating systems and communities have to make trade offs and they do that based on their values. So the right language is the one who’s values align with... more..
You can write more correct software and even rigorous mathematical proofs. Prepare for some mind stretching.
Previous guests like Edwin Brady and Stephanie Weirich have discussed some of the exciting things a dependent type system can do Miles Sabin said dependent types are surely the future. This interview is to get us ready for the... more..
In 1997, researchers analyzed the actual architectures of software in the field. The horrifying results: a large portion were best described by colorful phrases like “big ball of mud” and “sweep it under the rug.”
Wade Waldron talks about designing reactive applications and systems and how to avoid these anti-patterns. We also cover when a... more..
Professor and accomplished programming language researcher Philip Wadler believes that typed lambda calculus was discovered not invented – part of the underpinnings of the universe itself. As a result, functional programming languages are more fundamental and deeply justified than their alternatives.
We talk about this principle, which has guided... more..
When Riccardo Terrell hit the concurrency limitations in a jvm application, he thought back to the haskell he learned in a university course and decided to rewrite the entire thing in haskell. The immutability of the haskell solution made the concurrency bottleneck non-existent. It is no surprise that years later, his book on concurrency in... more..
Today’s Interview is with Charity Majors. We talk about how to make it easier to debug production issues in today’s world of complicated distributed systems. A warning, There is some explicit language in this interview.
I originally saw a talk by Charity where she said something like fuck your metrics and dashboards, you should test... more..
Today I talk to Vaughn Vernon about how Domain Driven Design can help with designing micro services. The guidelines that Vaughn has developed in his work on DDD can provide guidance for where service and consistency boundaries should be drawn. We also talk about the platform he is developing for applying these DDD concepts using... more..
The promise of functional programming is code that is easier to reason about, test and maintain. Referential transparency means there is no extra context to worry about, we can just focus on inputs and outputs. Examples of functional programming in the small are plentiful. Fibonacci is easy to write as a function but what about... more..
The surprising thing about rust is how memory management works. Rust has the concepts of moves and borrowing. If you have heard about Rust, you may have heard people talking about the borrow checker and trying to make it happy. In this interview, Jim Blandy walks us through what these concepts mean and how they... more..
At Strange Loop 2017, I wandered into a talk where I saw some code that deeply surprised me. The code could have been python if you squinted, passing dictionaries around, no type annotations anywhere.
Yet, key lookup in the dictionary was validated at compile time. It was a compile-time error to access elements that didn’t... more..
I don’t know a lot about microservices. Like how to design them and what the various caveats and anti-patterns are. I’m currently working on a project that involves decomposing a monolithic application into separate parts, integrated together using Kafka and http.
Today I talk to coauthor of upcoming book, Reactive Systems Architecture : Designing and... more..
Today I talk with Jim Blandy, one of the authors of Programming Rust. We talk about what problems rust is trying to solve, the unique language features and type system of rust. It includes both algebraic data types, type classes, and generics. We also touch on why it is so hard to secure code. Jim... more..
Today’s interview is with Steven Proctor, the host of the functional geekery podcast. We talk about distributed programming in general and specifically how erlang supports distributed computing. We also talk about things he’s learned about functional programming and applying FP principles to various non FP contexts.more..
What is GraphQL and when should you use it? Oleg Illyenko is primary creator of Sangria, a graphql implementation used by twitter, The New York Times and many other companies. We discuss the problems that graphql solves, how sangria works and the problems of api design.
According to Oleg, GraphQL gives you a type system... more..
Justin Woo is a self described PureScript evangelist and enthusiast. We talk about PureScript vs Elm and working with expressive type systems. Justin also had some great metaphors about phantom types and... more..
John De Goes and I talk flame wars, monad transformer performance, IO monad flavours, and reasoning about polymorphic type signatures. On the lighter side, we discuss how to write technical articles well and Zee vs Zed pronunciation.more..
When Miles Sabin applied to speak at a conference on generic programming, he bluffed a little bit. He would present on porting Simon Peytons Jone’s scrap your boilerplate functionality to Scala. Once his talk was accepted, he only had one thing left to do, implement it.
Generic programming is the type of polymorphism your language... more..
In simple terms, a total function is a function that produces a well defined output for all possible inputs. A total program is a program composed of only total functions.
A non-total, or partial function, would be a function that can fail given certain inputs. Such as taking the head of a list, which... more..
Edwin Brady is the creator of the Idris programming language and Author of the book Type-Driven Development with Idris and a computer science lecturer. The book, the language and Edwin himself all seem to be chock full of ideas for improving the way computer programming is done, by applying ideas from programming language theory.
In object oriented languages, modeling a complex problem domain is a well understood process. Books like Domain Driven Design contain techniques for breaking down a problem domain and earlier books like the gang of four book catalogue design patterns for modeling these domains in an object oriented way.
In today’s interview Debashish Ghosh explains how... more..
Runar Bjarnason has been exploring how writing in a functional style increases modularity and compositionality of software for many years. He is co-author of functional programming in scala, a book that teaches these principles in scala. It is a very challenging yet very rewarding book, sometimes referred to as simple ‘the red book’.
In this... more..
Doulingo is a language learning platform with over 200 million users. On a daily basis millions of users receive customized language lessons targeted specifically to them. These lessons are generated by a system called the session generator.
In this episode, Andre talks about the reasons for the rewrite, what drove them to move to scala... more..
As a system becomes more complex, the chance of failure increases. At a large enough scale, failures are inevitable. Incident response is the practice of preparing for and effectively recovering from these failures.
In this interview Emil argues that we need to move beyond tribal knowledge and incorporate practices such as an incident command system... more..
Scala is a functional and object oriented programming language built on the JVM. Scala Native takes this language, loved by many, and brings it to bare metal. Scala Native is an optimizing ahead-of-time compiler and lightweight managed runtime designed specifically for Scala.
Denys Shabalin is a Research Assistant at the EPFL and the primary creator of... more..