© 2009

Coders at Work

Reflections on the Craft of Programming

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Peter Seibel
    Pages 1-48
  3. Peter Seibel
    Pages 49-89
  4. Peter Seibel
    Pages 91-131
  5. Peter Seibel
    Pages 133-166
  6. Peter Seibel
    Pages 167-204
  7. Peter Seibel
    Pages 205-239
  8. Peter Seibel
    Pages 241-286
  9. Peter Seibel
    Pages 287-323
  10. Peter Seibel
    Pages 325-372
  11. Peter Seibel
    Pages 373-412
  12. Peter Seibel
    Pages 413-448
  13. Peter Seibel
    Pages 449-483
  14. Peter Seibel
    Pages 485-517
  15. Peter Seibel
    Pages 519-563
  16. Peter Seibel
    Pages 565-601
  17. Back Matter
    Pages 603-617

About this book


Peter Seibel interviews 15 of the most interesting computer programmers alive today in Coders at Work, offering a 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: 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


C# Erlang Java Lisp Pascal UNIX computer programming design programming software

About the authors

Peter Seibel is a serious developer of long standing. In the early days of the Web, he hacked Perl for Mother Jones and Organic Online. He participated in the Java revolution as an early employee at WebLogic which, after its acquisition by BEA, became the cornerstone of the latter's rapid growth in the J2EE sphere. He has also taught Java programming at UC Berkeley Extension. He is the author of Practical Common LISP from Apress.

Bibliographic information