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Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers
47 minutes | 11 days ago
Episode 30: Digital Autonomy and Software Freedom
In which I posit that software freedom is a small part of a bigger picture. Free Software Foundation Free Software Foundation of Europe Software Freedom Conservancy Electronic Frontier Foundation [objc retain]; Just Consequentialism and Computing (paywalled; accessible link) Use the … Continue reading →
44 minutes | 19 days ago
Episode 29: Return to Software Engineering
This episode is about technology, culture, community, and career. No links because it’s mostly a personal history and there’s only so much self-promotion I can fit in one episode. That said! If you enjoy this podcast and would like to support me in producing material for the software engineering community, please consider becoming a Patron. No obligation, but thank you for considering it!
39 minutes | a month ago
Episode 28: Fascinating
In which I use this hacker news discussion on Agile to ask the question: has the poacher become the gamekeeper? I definitely talked about Questioning Extreme Programming by Pete McBreen, and Ron Jeffries has a take on that book too. I referred back to my punk rock model of software engineering from Episode 25. And I certainly talked about Scrum, too. But I also talked about the importance of telling your stories, and I can’t put those in the show notes. Yet.
39 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 27: High-Performance Computing and the 1950s
In which we investigate the question why are climate models written in programming languages from 1950?, the discussion some programmers had about it, and the phenomenon that programmers seem to think that everybody else’s programming work just can’t be that difficult. The Next Platform Introduction to the Message Passing Interface OpenMP CUDA developer zone Choose Boring Technology If you enjoy this podcast, please consider joining others like you in becoming a patron!
34 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 26: more engineering please
In which I discuss whether the reaction to traditional software engineering in works like Software Craftsmanship: the New Imperative didn’t throw out significant amounts of baby with the bathwater of waterfall processes and CASE. I also mention my popular post reasoning about code is a scam, in which I explain that you should not be struggling to understand the software, but the problem. And I discuss my Patreon! If you like this podcast and anything else I create and would like to help me to do more of it, please consider becoming a patron.
57 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 25: A Theory of Software Engineering
In fact, while this is about a theory of software engineering, that doesn’t enter until the end of the show. Most of it is an attempt to incorrectly summarise the history of software engineering through analogy to the history of punk music. The 1968/69 NATO Software Engineering Reports. If anyone tells you that something was “already known” by software engineers at the 1968 Garmisch conference, and they will, ask for a page number and refer to the report here. The Project Managers’ Declaration of Interdependence. My argument is that the second wave of agile began with this document. More Effective Agile. One of the primary resources for second-wave agile. CMMI Institute. Would you like to think about process independent of practice… PSP and TSP. …or practice independent of process? SEMAT. A systems/cybernetics approach to software engineering.
41 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 24: Thoughts on Swift
A discussion on whether Swift was inevitable and whether it has achieved its goals, motivated by @tolmasky’s discussion with @lorenb on the Thoughts on Flash letter. Along the way I talk about Apple’s strategic investment into Java: I’ve discussed that in greater detail on this blog so largely lean on this article in the podcast.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 23: Licensing Software Engineers
In which I discuss the thorny issue of whether software engineering should be a licensed profession, mostly from the perspective of the ACM’s argument against it. Also considered is how, or even if, the whole Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBoK) could be examined in a single sitting, and whether an incremental approach like the Software Engineering Institute’s CMMI would work, or even be adopted.
38 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 22: Attend More Meetings
As if you couldn’t guess, the topic is that software engineers should attend more meetings. I talk about the Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule idea, why it’s a false dichotomy, and why programmers can actually get to more meetings than they think without doing worse work. In fact, it’ll make their work better.
20 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 21: No code is better than no code
In which we recommend deleting your code. Steve McConnell’s More Effective Agile Ward Cunningham introduces the debt metaphor for bad code, and my guess is it won’t be familiar as he presented it if you think you’re familiar with the term “technical debt”.
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