Peter Seibel’s Coders at Work is a series of interviews with famous programmers — Ken Thompson, Donald Knuth, Brendan Eich, Jamie Zawinski, and a bunch of others — wherein Seibel asks them how they think about, and engage in, programming.

As a concept, it’s great. There are all sorts of methodologies and “best practices” that purport to tell you the best way to program, but given that most of them are self-contradictory, it’s useful to see how “great programmers” actually program themselves.

In execution... it’s also great. Seibel is a programmer himself, and knows the right questions to ask. This isn’t biography-fluff like “What did your parents think of your interest in computers?”; it’s about debuggers and designing code and the merits of Lisp, and in general, it’s the conversations that you would want to have with smart programmers if you were yourself a programmer.

If you’re a programmer, highly recommended. If not, I can’t imagine why you’d read it.


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