Hardcover ☆ Coders ePUB ✓

From acclaimed tech writer Clive Thompson a brilliant and immersive anthropological reckoning with the most powerful tribe in the world today computer programmers where they come from how they think what makes for greatness in their world and what should give us pauseYou use software nearly every instant you're awake And this may sound weirdly obvious but every single one of those pieces of software was written by a programmer Programmers are thus among the most quietly influential people on the planet As we live in a world made of software they're the architects The decisions they make guide our behavior When they make something newly easy to do we do a lot of it If they make it hard or impossible to do something we do less of itIf we want to understand how today's world works we ought to understand something about coders Who exactly are the people that are building today's world? What makes them tick? What type of personality is drawn to writing software? And perhaps most interestingly what does it do to them?One of the first pieces of coding a newbie learns is the program to make the computer say Hello world Like that piece of code Clive Thompson's book is a delightful place to begin to understand this vocation which is both a profession and a way of life and which essentially didn't exist little than a generation ago but now is considered just about the only safe bet we can make about what the future holds Thompson takes us close to some of the great coders of our time and unpacks the surprising history of the field beginning with the first great coders who were women Ironically if we're going to traffic in stereotypes women are arguably naturally better at coding than men but they were written out of the history and shoved out of the seats for reasons that are illuminating Now programming is indeed if not a pure brotopia at least an awfully homogenous community which attracts people from a very narrow band of backgrounds and personality types As Thompson learns the consequences of that are significant not least being a fetish for disruption at scale that doesn't leave much time for pondering larger moral issues of collateral damage At the same time coding is a marvelous new art form that has improved the world in innumerable ways and Thompson reckons deeply as no one before him has with what great coding in fact looks like who creates it and where they come from To get as close to his subject has he can he picks up the thread of his own long abandoned coding practice and tries his mightiest to up his game with some surprising resultsMore and any serious engagement with the world demands an engagement with code and its consequences and to understand code we must understand coders In that regard Clive Thompson's Hello World is a marvelous and delightful master class


10 thoughts on “Coders

  1. says:

    This is a really interesting anthropological account of coder culture but actually broadly of tech culture What I loved was his account of how these stereotypes of coders get made up and then they self perpetuate because companies start to hire a certain profile And then this insular community of awkward egotistical monoculture of white men end up creating all our entertainment tech and shape our culture I was glad this was not a veneration of these iconic men but it also wasn't a polemic takedown I thought it was a really fair portrayal of the culture