This rather unusual book collects long interviews the author has conducted with 15 famous programmers, all of which have earned wide acclaim for their skills and contributions (Don Knuth, Peter Norvig, Simon Peyton Jones, Ken Thompson and Guy Steele are some of the best known ones). Peter Seibel is a talented interviewer, which makes the book an interesting read. He asks insightful questions on interesting topics, and encourages the interviewees to provide long and thoughtful answers. While you can probably find various interviews with most of the people in this book online, the book collects them all together, answering good questions on similar topics, thus providing context of comparison between them. Some of my favorite question topics were debugging techniques (it's very interesting to hear how the luminaries work in this aspect), hiring, the design process and reading others' code. On the other hand, some topics could be safely skipped - Seibel insisted on asking about literate programming and formal proofs, which are borderline topics at best, and indeed generated bland and un-interesting responses from the interviewees. You have to be really into programming to enjoy this book. I personally think that it's quite insightful to read how these people approach problems and see things, and compare your own views with theirs. P.S. My favorite interviews were with Brad Fitzpatrick and Don Knuth.


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