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Coders at Work
Coders at Work
2009

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  1. Great stories
  2. How to be a better programmer

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  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcylce Maintenance
  2. The Sparrow
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  4. Mythical Man-Month
  5. Code Complete
  6. Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  7. This Perfect Day


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Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along
Nothing to see here, please move along


Peter Seibel interviews 15 of the most interesting computer programmers alive today in Coders at Work, offering a brand-new companion volume to Apress’s highly acclaimed best-seller Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston. As the words “at work” suggest, Peter Seibel focuses on how his interviewees tackle the day-to-day work of programming, while revealing much more, like how they became great programmers, how they recognize programming talent in others, and what kinds of problems they find most interesting.

Hundreds of people have suggested names of programmers to interview on the Coders at Work web site: www.codersatwork.com. The complete list was 284 names. Having digested everyone’s feedback, we selected 15 folks who’ve been kind enough to agree to be interviewed:

  • Frances Allen: Pioneer in optimizing compilers, first woman to win the Turing Award (2006) and first female IBM fellow
  • Joe Armstrong: Inventor of Erlang
  • Joshua Bloch: Author of the Java collections framework, now at Google
  • Bernie Cosell: One of the main software guys behind the original ARPANET IMPs and a master debugger
  • Douglas Crockford: JSON founder, JavaScript architect at Yahoo!
  • L. Peter Deutsch: Author of Ghostscript, implementer of Smalltalk-80 at Xerox PARC and Lisp 1.5 on PDP-1
  • Brendan Eich: Inventor of JavaScript, CTO of the Mozilla Corporation
  • Brad Fitzpatrick: Writer of LiveJournal, OpenID, memcached, and Perlbal
  • Dan Ingalls: Smalltalk implementor and designer
  • Simon Peyton Jones: Coinventor of Haskell and lead designer of Glasgow Haskell Compiler
  • Donald Knuth: Author of The Art of Computer Programming and creator of TeX
  • Peter Norvig: Director of Research at Google and author of the standard text on AI
  • Guy Steele: Coinventor of Scheme and part of the Common Lisp Gang of Five, currently working on Fortress
  • Ken Thompson: Inventor of UNIX
  • Jamie Zawinski: Author of XEmacs and early Netscape/Mozilla hacker
     


What is this?

A while back I wrote an article on my blog listing all the books that hackers recommended to each other from the site HackerNews. The purpose was to provide a place to list book recommendations so that people didn't have to type in the same list over and over again. (HN gets several requests for book recommendations a week. I also get at least a couple each month). It was very well received, and many posters and commenters either asked that I make a site or sent me an email asking me to do so.

How is this any different from the list on the blog?

This list has more books. This list is sortable both by what question you have and your skill level. In addition, once you sort the list, you can save the link with your sort and send it to somebody else. So, for instance, when somebody wants a book for noobs learning to program, you can make a link for that and then reuse it

How did you collect these books?

Initially the list came from Googling HackerNews.com "best book" and taking the books from the first few pages returned. Later, I added all the books that were mentioned "You left that out!" when Jacques posted the link. While adding those books, I came across a Stack Overflow link where programmers were asked to list their favorite tech books, so I included those too.

If I ask you to put a book on here, will you?

It depends.

These books were all gathered by finding places where hackers hang out and are suggesting books to other hackers and other hackers agree with them by voting up their suggestion. If I can find an example of this for your book, I'm happy to include it.

How are the books ranked?

I did the best I could with ranking. I am sure there are many things you do not agree with. It would be possible to add voting and personal ranking -- that would make the system much better. Heck, you could rank the books yourself and use it as a customized book list to show to people who want your advice. I'd like to do that, but if I've learned anything is to not let your featureset get ahead of the users. This first version will test the waters to see what kind of interest the community might have.