Dreaming in Code: Two Dozen Programmers, Three Years, 4,732 Bugs, and One Quest for Transcendent Software Kindle Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1400082469
ISBN-10: 1400082463
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Editorial Reviews

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"Technology people like to call complicated problems 'nontrivial.' Scott Rosenberg has taken an extremely nontrivial topic and made it accessible. He plainly admires the people who create code, but shows them as the complex, flawed beings we all are- and how human talents, quirks and passions become part of what people create. Dreaming in Code is stellar reporting and writing."
–Dan Gillmor, Director, Center for Citizen Media and author of We the Media

"We live in a world increasingly governed by the near-invisible logic of software, and yet most of us know almost nothing about that hidden world inside our computers. Dreaming in Code is a fascinating and sobering exploration of how the challenges of programming both inspire and undermine our human drive to create new tools. Beautifully written, it's a book for anyone interested in the roots of creativity and innovation, for coders and non-coders alike."
–Steven Johnson, author of Everything Bad Is Good for You and Emergence

"The great software genius Bill Joy likes to say that writing software is like building a cathedral: It's art, science, architecture, and manual labor all rolled into one. Dreaming in Code illuminates the truth of that metaphor in all its subtlety and fullness. It has drama, comedy, pathos, and poignancy- and its center, in Mitch Kapor, is one of the most fascinating and yet least understood figures of the digital revolution. It's also so smart and insightful on its subject as any book I know."
–John Heilemann, New York Magazine columnist and author of Pride Before The Fall: Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era

"Dreaming in Code is the first true successor to Tracy Kidder's Soul of a New Machine, and is written with a combination of technical sophistication and narrative skill not seen in many years. Read it to understand what all these software wizards actually do."
R...

Amazon.com Review

In the 80s, Tracy Kidder's The Soul of a New Machine attempted to define the story of the development of a minicomputer: from the new science to the business and nascent culture of electronic hardware and software that was characteristic of that time. Scott Rosenberg's Dreaming in Code draws on Kidder's model as it attempts to document the state of software, the Internet, and everything circa 2006 through the lens of Chandler, an as-yet-unfinished software application for the management of personal information.

The Chandler project--driven by Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus Development and main designer of its 1-2-3 spreadsheet, and later co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation--isn't the primary point of Dreaming in Code, though reading about software people and their social behavior is at least as interesting as reading about that of meerkats or monkeys. Rather, Chandler is a rhetorical device with which Rosenberg takes on the big questions: How do software development teams work (or not)? Why does the reuse of software modules rarely work altogether correctly? Does open-source development by volunteers on the Internet lead to innovation or just insanely bifurcated chaos? Chandler helps his readers think more clearly about all of these issues; however, "answers" to these questions are, of course, not to be had, which is one of his points.

The problem with books about technical subjects that aspire to appeal to a general audience, particularly computers and software, is that such subjects are so far outside the realm of familiarity of most people that the prose bogs down in analogy and metaphor. Rosenberg manages to avoid too much of that and deliver a readable account of software development and culture. --David Wall --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on May 6, 2015
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Reviewed in the United States on March 8, 2011
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Reviewed in the United States on June 27, 2011
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Top international reviews

Ransen Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars Every programmer (and manager of programmers) should read this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2019
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Nick Keighley
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Take on Software Development
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 14, 2020
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PJ (London)
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 16, 2014
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Radiocode
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 26, 2013
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Shailendra Paliwal
4.0 out of 5 stars Delves into philosophy of making software; anatomy of a project that turned into vapourware
Reviewed in India on August 3, 2017
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Lorenzo Baldi
3.0 out of 5 stars Buono anche se a tratti un poco noioso.
Reviewed in Italy on November 20, 2016
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deviantintegral
4.0 out of 5 stars Printing issues
Reviewed in Canada on May 3, 2017
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James
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight into open source software development
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 28, 2007
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