Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programmers

I make it easier and faster for you to write high-quality software.

Monday, February 15, 2021

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.

posted by Graham at 12:16  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

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.

posted by Graham at 22:49  

Thursday, December 31, 2020

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.

posted by Graham at 11:23  

Saturday, December 19, 2020

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.

posted by Graham at 11:38  

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

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.

posted by Graham at 23:07  

Monday, November 30, 2020

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”.

posted by Graham at 17:47  

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Episode 20: what do we know about software engineering?

I explain the gap between episodes 19 and 20, and ask whether any of the practices we follow in software engineering are defensible.

As always, I welcome discussing this topic with you! Comment here, or send email to the address I read out in the episode.

posted by Graham at 19:17  

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Episode 19: How many Macs?

In which I admit to having used a very large number of Apple computers, even if I exclude vintage pieces. But actually talk about setting up a second one. The Twitter poll that started it all.

posted by Graham at 00:04  

Monday, October 5, 2020

Episode 18: the pink plane

A response to my own post, What Smalltalk was not over at De Programmatica Ipsum. Some relevant links:

Also, I mentioned the Dos Amigans twitch stream, where Steven Baker and I write Amiga software. Join us!

posted by Graham at 08:00  

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Episode 17: will CPUs matter?

Carrying on from Episode 16, I wonder whether it matters that Apple switch to RISC-V next decade anyway.

posted by Graham at 20:38  
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