computing culture

Slowing Down

I started programming when I was pretty young. Now I’ve finished undergrad, and will soon finish my masters. I’ve been speeding along through the computer landscape with only a narrow view of computing. A dissatisfaction with the insular understanding of computing I've developed over the years has prompted a new direction.

A New Direction

Looking to the Future

Much has changed in the programmer culture landscape in the past 10 years. The first thing to come to mind is Github. Github is arguable the greatest gift to the programming community - not only because it promotes communal software development practices - but mainly because a notable proportion of computing innovation lives there. Github is the a massive prophecy book - ripe for harvesting - a database of what’s trending in programmer culture and what will trend.

Appreciating History

There is something quite captivating about history. It was once current news, the state of the art - something worthy of notice that gets documented. Such events set in motion the water wheel of time and slowly make their descent into the pool of history. Computer history is no exception.

What began as a mere hobby interest in fascinating antique machines quickly evolved. It quickly became apparent that there is much to be learned from these antiques - secrets of what make good technology. Computer software and accompanying culture is no exception. Computing has come a long way since Unix of ’69 and has in a sense, become a beast of its own.

To understand the nature of this beast, it is important to understand its past. Not just the technical aspects, but also the social aspects. It seems that the best developers and computer engineers among us are so busy creating that there is often little time left to evaluate computing culture and practices as whole, Eric S Raymond being a notable exception. Eric S. Raymond’s The Art of Unix Programming(which will be evaluated here) is replete with information on programming culture and history in general, seems to offer much insight into the beast.

The Journey

Thus begins the journey to understand the beast. This is no small feat - but history seems like a reasonable starting point. There is more to computing than meets the eye.