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Verk av Peter Seibel

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I give the interviewees four stars, and the final result fewer stars. Interviewees repeated each other and were too rambly for book. What passes for a good podcast transcript doesn't meet my expectations for what a good interview driven book is.
 
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matthwdeanmartin | 19 andra recensioner | Jul 9, 2023 |
very cool book. interesting to hear in their own words from some famous computer people. my favorite theme from the book was the ultimate importance of enthusiasm as an indicator of someone being good. enthusiasm is everything . also reassuring know that even some of these people who have done amazing things don't comment much and use print statements to debug. basically just do cool stuff that interests you always
 
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royragsdale | 19 andra recensioner | Sep 22, 2021 |
This was an interesting read but definitely one that is better read in parts. The interviews start getting a little repetitive, you'll appreciate taking a breather now and then. Definitely get through to the end, though. I don't want to give it away but Knuth talks a little bit about The Art of Computer Programming: The Movie.
 
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kapheine | 19 andra recensioner | Apr 6, 2021 |
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.
… (mer)
 
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Henrik_Warne | 19 andra recensioner | Dec 13, 2020 |

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Statistik

Verk
3
Medlemmar
1,208
Popularitet
#21,258
Betyg
4.1
Recensioner
22
ISBN
15
Språk
2
Favoritmärkt
1

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