Friday, October 30, 2009

Ignite Seattle Returns!

The nice folks at Ignite Seattle! are going to let me speak again! If you're in the Seattle area December 1 (a Tuesday), come on down to the King Cat Theatre. It's free, it's fun, and drinks will be served (but drinks aren't free)!

This will be an interesting experiment for me. My last talk video "went viral", and I want to see if that's reproducible or mostly luck. That talk had the advantage of both containing humor and being topical, since I was able to touch on the Microsoft layoffs that were in the news. This time around, my talk won't be the slightest bit topical or humorous; this time, it's nothing but ideas.

This talk is drawn from the Introduction to my book, which I've been working on for about a year. That sounds nuts, even to me, but the explanation is that the Introduction is about the meta-question of "why should anyone care about computer programming?" Answering that question requires me to read about... well, just about everything under the sun. The result has made me think about computer programming in completely new ways, and I want to convey a taste of that in this talk. Here's the synopsis:

Three Strange Definitions of Computer Programming

Legendary computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra once said: “Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.” But if programming is not about the computers, what IS it about? I want to give you three strange definitions of computer programming that will forever change how you think about software. Exploring the true nature of programming requires tracing its connections with philosophy, psychology, evolution, and physics, and following these threads leads to a startling conclusion: computer programming is not a product of the human mind – it's a product of the mind of the universe!

1 comment:

Vince A said...

Although programming is often seen as one of the junior roles in the IT industry, few activities are as satisfying:

Database administration is merely file-keeping, architecture is lego-like arrangement of pre-built blocks, system administration is gate-keeping, and network administration is plumbing.

Looking forward to your talk!