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Back in January, we ran the first survey of the Future of Coding community. One of the goals of the survey was to take the temperature of the room: what people are working on, how they are interacting with the various branches of the community, what things they would like to see happen over the coming year, and so forth. The other goal was to more concretely answer a long-looming question: should we move away from Slack?
This episode was originally meant to be a little mini-episode halfway through March, with the next full episode coming at the start of April. Would you believe me if I told you that some things happened in the world that caused me to change my plans? Shocker, I know. I’m podcasting from home, so if I sound a little more airy than normal it’s because I’m using one of my special scientific measurement microphones that looks like an electric toothbrush. No guest this time, either — just me.
Floppy disk for scale.
There were 134 responses to the survey, which is pretty good. According to Slack’s analytics, there are roughly 230 people who check the Slack in any given week, and about 70 people who post. So broadly speaking, this survey sampled about half of the current community.
A CSV of the survey results can be found here. If you’d like to do your own analysis and share it with the community, that would be excellent. Let me know when it’s up and I’ll link to it here.
Update: Community member Alex Wein created a beautiful interactive visualization of the survey results.
On this page you’ll find graphs aplenty, and some of my reflections on the results. The episode has a fair bit of extra commentary, so for the maximum effect I recommend both listening to the episode and reviewing the graphs below.
There’s also an interesting discussion unfolding in the Slack thread for this episode, in response to the lack of questions about diversity in the survey. Improving the diversity of the community, especially the gender balance, is an issue that we’re taking to heart. So if you’re reading this and you’d like to help us improve, we’d be thrilled to have your input & ongoing participation.
Also worth noting — all music in the episode is by me, and if you enjoy the music from the final segment of the episode, you can hear a slightly more elaborate version of that song here.
The transcript for this episode is sponsored by Repl.it, a collaborative, in-browser REPL that lets you instantly get started coding in over 50 languages.
Lately, I’ve been curious about Swift, since I know I’ll be turning my own Future of Coding project into a native Mac app at some point. One of the promises we’ve all heard about Swift is that it scales all the way to down by serving as a nice lightweight scripting language, and scales all the way up by serving as highly reliable, performant, low-level systems language. However, what doesn’t scale nearly as smoothly is the first-run developer experience. Sure, I could install the Playground iPad app to try the language. But then if I want to dig in a little deeper than toy examples, I need to download the compiler, possibly download Xcode, figure out whether I need the toolchain, put it on my PATH. There goes my afternoon.
Or, I can go to Repl.it — Click “start coding”, pick Swift as my language, and boom, I’m up and running with an editor and a REPL, faster than reading the Getting Started section of the Swift site. There’s a helpful prompt offering me example code I can inject into the editor (which is pretty helpful if you’re kicking the tires on, say, APL).
So you’re coding up a storm in the editor, and you think, “This started as a little script, but now it’s an operating system! I should probably save.” Repl.it has you covered. You can create a repo, commit, and push to GitHub right from the sidebar.
Just like that, you started with a toy project in a new language, and smoothly worked your way up to something much more substantial. All in the browser, without installing anything. A great coding experience with one click.
Take a look at the 50 languages and frameworks they support, pick something you’re curious about, and take it for a spin. Thanks to Repl.it for sponsoring the transcript, and for helping to build the future of coding.
To start, let me recap the introduction to the survey:
At the conclusion of this survey, we’ll know a little more about who here takes surveys, how they interact with various branches of our community, and whether or not we should move away from Slack.
The survey is anonymous, and data collected will be shared with the community.
Section One: Who Are You, Really?
Let’s find out some basic information about how you interact with the community, and what the community organizers can do for you.
We have a lot of lurkers — people who just read others’ posts and don’t post or comment themselves.
A handful of people post every day, which feels about right to me. You know who you are, and I love you.
About 12% of respondents didn’t know there was a Slack. That’s helpful, as it means this survey did reach some people via the podcast or via Twitter. But it’s not such a large group that we’d need worry about it distorting the results of our questions about abandoning Slack.
If you find yourself reading this and you’re one of the 12%, would you kindly proceed to this page.
Question Two: Do you subscribe to the newsletter?
You should subscribe to the newsletter! About half of all human beings do.
A third didn’t know there was a newsletter. Hopefully they signed up.
I’m so happy that Mariano is putting together the newsletter every week. I often find that I don’t have time to check out all the talks and articles and projects being shared throughout the week, but having them synthesized into an email helps me make time to review them all at once. Thank you, Mariano.
Question Three: Do you listen to the podcast?
This one is interesting. According to the results, zero percent of people actually listen to the podcast. Frankly, I can’t blame them. The transcripts are so good, why would you listen? It’s not like there’s a soothing voice, skillful editing, tasteful music….
…and 30% of respondents don’t listen to the podcast. Shame!
And 10% of people didn’t know there was a podcast. Hot tip: Listen in your podcast player by searching for Future of Coding, or via Apple Podcasts | Overcast | Google Podcasts | RSS | Blockchain
Question Four: Do you read/use the podcast transcripts?
The transcripts are surprisingly popular. Surprising to me, at least, since most of the podcasts I listen to don’t even have transcripts. When I first reached out to Jack Rusher about coming on the podcast, he specifically asked about transcripts. Since I was so intimidated by him, I put in a tremendous effort to make the transcript for that episode as good as I could. And now, whenever I post a new episode, the #1 piece of feedback I get is how much people love the transcripts — the notes, the links, etc. That feels good, though these transcripts do take a tremendous effort to produce — often around a dozen hours per episode, mostly correcting mistakes and poor quality results from the human transcription service I use. Hopefully I’ll find ways to streamline the process in time.
Question Five: If the podcast had a Patreon, would you potentially back it, and if so for how much?
Since the transcripts take so much time and effort, and the Repl.it sponsorship doesn’t even cover the full costs of producing the show, it’s been hard for me to justify doing this podcast to my key stakeholders (Freyja and Astrid). So back when I made this survey, I was thinking of launching a Patreon. That was, of course, in the halcyon days. So that plan is off the table for now.
One person picked my joke answer, exactly $771 per month, which just so happens to be my favourite number since childhood. Whoever you are, thank you.
Question Six: If you are willing to back the podcast on Patreon, would you want an incentive, like bonus episodes, in return?
I’m still waiting for those DMs.
One very last final tiny little closing thought about money before we move on to the fun stuff. For me, it’s not about trying to earn income. I’m not doing this podcast for the exposure, either. I just want to make something really good. I think this show is a fantastic vehicle for conversation and the exchange of ideas, and I want to do the absolute best job of it that I possibly can.
That comes at a cost, natch. Maybe next year, I’ll launch a Patreon and start to recoup the cost of producing the show. Hope to see you there!
This is the first question where people could select more than one answer. It’s worth pointing out that the percentages in the pie charts are derived from the total number of selections, not the number of people who responded, so the representation is a little weird.
This is also the first question where people could write their own answers. We have 4 people who entered Mastodon, and one each for Strange Loop, Quora, Matrix, a single period character, and “imaginary conversations in my mind.” Big mood, as they say.
Question Nine: Where in the world is… the person answering this question?
Question Ten: How comfortable are you with English?
It will be interesting to see how this changes in future years. I am planning to run this survey again as an annual thing, to give us a nice historical dataset and see how things grow and change with the years.
Alright, let’s get spicy.
Section Two: The Pursuit of Perfection
The community is named “Future of Coding”, but that’s a rather nebulous concept. Let’s see if we can tease out what that means.
Question Eleven: Litmus test — thoughts on Bret Victor?
Friends — if you are reading this and you do not know the work of Bret Victor, go immediately to worrydream.com. It’s no secret that Steve Krouse and I have a tremendous fondness for Bret’s work. I think it’s telling that the most common criticism I’ve seen levied against his work is that people are disappointed that the things he’s made aren’t “real”. You can’t download and use his projects. But to me, that’s the point. Prior to Dynamicland, his work was meant to set the bar. If you’re building a new programming system, it must be this visualizable, this thoughtful, this humane, to be progressive. Bret raised our expectations, and I think that’s a tremendous thing.
So, of course, I think he’s a villain! He single-handedly ruined programming for my generation. We now know how much better things could be, and how much better they’ve been in the past, and how much time we’ve wasted living in the long shadow of C, Unix…
[parody parody satire parody j/k j/k ok enough]
Question Twelve: Are you currently working on any “future of coding” projects yourself?
This is another question where folks could select multiple answers.
77 people say they’re working on an FoC project independently. That’s fantastic.
On the other hand, 42 people are not working on an FoC project. That’s also fantastic. I’m thrilled that we have folks here in the community who are interested in the subject, but not vested-interested in the subject.
Question Thirteen: What FoC topics interest you most?
In the episode, I spent quite a while talking extemporaneously about this question. For you folks reading the transcript, I instead present you with this enormous bar graph.
Update: Community member Alex Wein created a beautiful interactive visualization of the survey results, centered on this question. They do a much better job showing the interests of our community. I highly recommend taking a look.
Note that this question allowed you to pick multiple answers, and it also allowed you to enter your own custom answers.
This question was extremely contentious. I had put a fairly tight limit on the number of answers you could pick, and boy did I hear about it. A handful of people wanted to pick, oh, 80% of the choices. I felt that that would throw meaningful representation of each answerer out the window, so a limit of 12 selections was what I settled on.
Here are the (non-joke) answers that folks wrote-in:
- Business models for FoC
- Descent computing (using computer throughout societal collapse), personal information management /w knowledge graphs, Linked Open Data, Design Intent Ontology
- Developer tooling/automation
- Interoperability, universal primitives, multilanguage standard library…
- Robust Computing - Computer Tools working with Cognitive Science Concepts to help for better sensemaking of individuals and groups
A few people also used the write-in field to stuff other answers from the list of choices. Yes, you clever monsters, your excess answers were counted.
Finally, relevant links based on the extemporaneous discussion in the episode:
- The exact phrasing “mind bicycles” comes from this list by FoC community member Daniel Garcia.
- One excellent collection of systems of notation is this syllabus by past podcast guest Katherine Ye.
Section Three: Put Out The Fire
Our community has used Slack as a discussion platform for several years, and we are now pressed against its limits. After spending the past two months looking at alternatives in depth, here are the most popular options. Your answers here will help us decide whether and where we should move.
Question Fourteen: Thoughts on Slack?
Gosh, I hope the survey was structured such that we can come out of this with a clear answer.
Narrator: But it wasn’t.
Question Fifteen: Zulip is a chat service similar to Slack. It has better support for permalinks, threaded discussions, search, and more, with basically all the features of Slack (including desktop, mobile, and web apps). It’s actively developed and is growing in popularity. In the conversations leading up to this survey, Zulip was the most popularly recommended alternative to Slack. So, what if we moved the community to Zulip?
So, no clear answer here.
So, no clear answer here either.
Well there’s a clear answer, at least.
Question Eighteen: Now that you’ve seen the options, what is your #1 pick?
So now the question becomes: what do we do with this information? I think two things are newly apparent.
The first is that the folks who absolutely want to leave Slack are in the minority. Looking at both the initial “thoughts on Slack” question, and this final “what is your #1 pick” question, most people are either neutral or would be happy to stay on Slack.
The second is that even if we did want to leave Slack, even after spending a few months discussing options and weighing sentiment, the survey shows that none of the alternatives are all that popular.
To me, this data is a pretty clear sign that Slack has inertia. If the community didn’t exist yet, and we could freely pick where we wanted to start it in the first place, I’m sure the numbers would tell a very different story. But now that the community is established, looking at the numbers here, moving to a new home would almost certainly cause more damage than sticking with Slack, at least in the short term.
So I think we need to address the shortcomings of Slack in a different way. We have our list of complaints: the loss of history, the poor search, the fact that Slack threads aren’t good facilitators of deep discussion, etcetera. A few of us have made various attempts to address these issues in the past. Steve Krouse made a history search using the Slack API, which works in a pinch but could definitely use refinement. (Though it’s not working for me as I type this, and others have reported similar issues in the past, so YMMV.) A few people have tried to set up wikis, so that we can capture the references and concepts and projects that come up in our discussions. There’s Mariano’s newsletter, which sort of doubles as a folk history of our community.
If we’re going to stick with Slack, I think we should take whatever effort we’d otherwise need to invest in moving to a new platform, and instead invest it in tools that will help our community thrive despite the shortcomings of Slack. There’s a community Github organization that you are welcome to join and publish your projects through. We have a handful of experimental programming tools that could surely be put to good use in building some tools for our community. So I think that’s the direction we should go.
Section Four: Free Thinking
These optional questions are an invitation to anonymously share your thoughts on the community. Your responses to these questions will help us organize, moderate, and grow.
Given that these questions are so open-ended, and the answers so diverse, I ended up spending about half of the length of the podcast reading and reflecting on them. I won’t mirror all that discussion here, but I will share all the answers so that you can read through them yourself without needing to download the raw dataset.
Major themes that emerged:
- Connection — Meetups, virtual events, etc. This survey ran before COVID became a worldwide crisis, so some of these replies won’t have full relevance until further in the future, and others are suddenly super-relevant.
- Collaboration — Working together on group projects. There seems to be a great deal of interest from people who would like to pitch in on the development of FoC projects, so if you are looking for help put out a call and you’ll likely get some enthusiastic support.
- Archiving — Wikis, newsletters, knowledge graphs, etc.
- Not Slack — Sigh…
- Demos — Hopefully these folks have discovered our new #two-minute-week channel.
- Discussion — Suggestions for things we can talk more about.
- Diversity — Also worth noting that this survey predates the CoC.
There were 4 answers that resisted easy categorization, that I commented on individually in the episode:
- I’d like the community to get hip to the possibility of a drastic societal simplification that would impede access to the technology that raised our standard of living, and work out what do to about it looking through that lens. I would focus on lowering complexity, get computing more into the “application-less age”, just information and features, drastic openness, modularity, interop, with the goal of helping people access and assimilate knowledge necessary for their thriving at the household and local level.
- More public blog posts (ie. just open to the internet, with hyperlinks!)
- What I feel like we should do less of: reminiscing on history. I feel a lot of people look to history as if it already has the answers we need. I blame the consumptive nature of modern media for this. I think we need to take more initiative to produce more insights ourselves.
- Dream bigger. There are few moonshots in here. Less bias, in someways it feels like products before being even presented to the industry are chosen already while still being in beta.
Here are all the other responses. If any of them propose something, like a project or new initiative, that you’d be interested in organizing on behalf of the community, reach out to me and I’ll help give it official recognition and promotion.
- I think it would be nice to have more virtual or in-person events / meetups to share ideas in real time and get to know each other better.
- Roundup emails for when I don’t have time to read everything, or some sort of gallery where I can see what everyone is up to in 1 place
- IRL meetups/connecting people IRL
- More group projects. By working together we can accomplish more than working separately
- Something like a ‘book club’ for trying extant software by community members and others
- Collaborate, support one another materially
- Building collaborative resources for learning, a la Learning Lounge
- Meetups, group collaborative projects
- More talk on the design/form of what the FoC might look like. Right now quite a few discussions still gravitate towards coding 1.5, imho
- Collaborate on projects instead of trying to work as individuals
- Topic discussion / article. Longer form. emails. We can’t think in slack/Twitter.
- In person event, maybe around Strange Loop?
- It seems like everyone is working on their own minor projects and they all come together to discuss them on FoC. It would be far more efficient if we saw larger teams form from the FoC members that together would have the potential to make real change instead of these toy projects.
- a wiki would be handy. some way to document the body of knowledge. so slack is good for announcements and discussion, but is not so good at giving an overview or drill down into a topic.
- Longer newsletters with older content even if 1-10 years old
- I would like to collaborate with people and work on interesting projects. Working alone gets boring! So maybe a sub community where people are paired with each other to collaborate on projects.
- Use the 1-on-1’s channel more! It’s been so helpful in getting to know what folks in the community are up to, and to forge new relationships.
- Working together on standards
- Archive of all communications between members that it easy to search and refer to. Thoughts on different topics are the most valuable that I can get from this community – not easy to search now. I love to have a space, where I could pinpoint different comments. Refer back to them.
- Periodic, randomized pairings of community members for mutual show-and-tell as a way to encourage new thoughts and connections
- Get a code of conduct, it’s embarrassing to not have one.
- Meeting, discussing each other’s projects
- Collaborate without each other and share the fruits of that collaboration.
- I don’t have time to read through the Slack channels so something more like a message board with weekly digests would be ideal. A sub-Reddit or Hacker News style app would also be useful for filtering good stuff from the community.
- Work on projects, share results
- The signal to noise of Slack is low. I don’t see how another medium would make that better.
- Organize meetups and make it easy to find and remember them
- Virtual meetup
- Not easy, but I’d love if we could get better at documenting our collective knowledge. I really liked The Whole Code Catalog.
- Organize face to face meetups or conferences, although I must admit I wouldn’t be able to attend all of them.
- More diversity
- meet ups
- build a base of knowledge which can be referred to, rather than just say the same things back and forth in chats forever. (also: set clearer expectations on appropriate conversation, so blow-hards don’t blow quite as hard.)
- Some kind of integration or directed feedback with communities like gitcoin - and many others. A map of people / institutes or efforts in the space.
- Produce a demo and intro to a new platform or language
- engage with industry to find what problems they are actually facing
- Modes of interaction catered to introverts who want to develop their understanding and sense of community through discussion without it all being publicly logged and indexed forever.
- in-person meetups, group projects
- Tangible, mini, group-projects we build together.
- Would love to see a community code of conduct implemented – I know the lack of a CoC has discouraged some people from joining in the past.
- Discuss programming language theory
- Meeting in person. Organizing thoughts rather than blethering. Form groups to work on stuff together.
- in-person meetups
- Reddit style AMA, study groups
- IRL Meetups
- More meetups, more sharing of projects.
- concrete, permanent artifacts produced from our efforts (especially lists and directories of projects)
- Help people interested in contributing and projects find each other
- Make interesting demos and animated/story boarded thought experiments.
- Not use slack
- Focusing a bit more on the reason behind future of computing, why are we not satisfied with the status quo? And how do we know something is better than something else. What are the metrics of forward?
- Build prototypes, write blog posts and papers about them
- Open up, ie. don’t use proprietary tools that require registration to even read.
- direct interaction / collaboration. But this is really up to the individuals, and I wouldn’t know how to encourage it more myself.
- I hope the community acts as a beacon that brings together people to collaborate and help each other develop ideas
- maybe 3+ teleconference interviews of people doing related work; perhaps categorize the talks so a newcomer can navigate the material more easily with some kind of graph representation (just saw some top level categories, the 12 max, so which ones does an interview touch upon?)
- I’ve been too shy and too busy to join the slack, so I don’t have a good answer.
- Organize into similar or overlapping projects, so we can compare and build off of each other. A chart or graph or filter-on-tags search/list would help
- Meet in person
Question Twenty: Aside from “release more episodes”, what would you like to see happen with the Podcast? Any guests or topics you’d love to see featured?
Again, in the episode I reacted to a few of the answers specifically, but this time a little more briefly than the previous question. I felt the answers here were more interesting to me than they would be to listeners. That said, I’ll once again include them all here, for those who are interested.
- Systems thinking from non computer scientist engineers or older technical disciplines
- Probably a tall order, but I’d b interested in drawing out people working on mainstream tooling, eg at microsoft or jetbrains
- Topic: money. How people in FoC support themselves.
- The computer graphics industry is flooded with amazing visual programming/programming by example tools; would be great to have more guests from that industry and get more insight into their mindset in general :)
- I suppose more awareness of the transcripts would be great (I didn’t know about them until now). Is there an RSS / Atom feed for the transcripts? As for guests, I’d like to hear from Yoshiki Schmitz (already in the Slack, https://twitter.com/yoshikischmitz)
- Your episode (Ivan Reese) was amazing, I’ll support whatever you do :)
- I don’t listen to b podcast.
- Bret Victor, if somehow possible! Andy Matuschak (Khan Academy) probably has some really interesting insights as well!
- More focus on design, linguistics, and aesthetics. Most episodes focus on either corporate tools or technical concepts, and I don’t believe that either will lead to the future.
- the mom test guy?
- Tools for Thought with Andy Matuschak & Michael Nielson
- Make episodes shorter - 40min to an hour in length. 2. Try to have a series of episodes centered around a specific topic (history of GUIs, pedagogy in CS, etc - like cover a bunch of tools, people, historical moments, and stuff).
- Alan Kay. Ted Nelson. More intersection of humanities, philosophy, CogSci, HCI, art and creation with programming, rather than squarely programming.
- Would love to see more “multidisciplinary” episodes, like the one with Glen Chiacchieri that talks about his journey from programmer to therapist. Really like to hear “origin stories” as well, podcasts like “On the Metal” do this quite well.
- Chris Granger
- Me as a guest :O
- retrospectives on past attempts to improve the future of coding
- More historic perspectives, feature pioneers of programming like Alan Kay.
- I like the transcripts cos I can’t spend the time listening (esp if it can’t be played at 2x like YouTube)
- The (content in the) Slack is a product of community. The podcast is your project. Take it where you want to take it and make it yours. Put your spin on it and let it have your voice. Don’t try to do “what’s best for the community”.
- Interview Bret Victor or Alan Kay!
- More is not necessarily better.
- No topic/guest suggestions. While Steve is generally good at making guests explain things, some episodes would benefit from forcing them to be even slower in introducing context. If you’re looking for a new kind of content to produce consider low effort conversation-style panels–but I think it’s probably best with only the current format.
- Shorter episodes/more edited down
- not an active listener, so no special thoughts
- Guests I’d love to see featured: Dave Ackley - Robust Computing ALife, DHH - history of money - open source developement(history), Juan Benet - IPFS my questions
- Discussions with classroom teachers and students (adults/kids) who are in the process of learning to program or create
- more industry
- I’ve only listened to one episide, so still have lots to get through.
- I don’t like podcasts, but I’m weird.
- I can’t really follow podcasts, I zone out too easily :(
- Bring back previous speakers and get a peek into their latest thinking. Joathsn Edwards, Chris Granger, Paul Chuisano, Nathan Marz
- Sound/production quality (still on #24 though)
- I’d love to see Vi Hart, M Eifler and Evelyn Eastmond (https://theartofresearch.org/) talk about their research in AR/VR programming among other things
- Myself :)
- Conal Elliott as a guest might be nice!
- Perhaps someone who made some of the LISP machines, that would be interesting. Also, trying to find common ground or cohesion between ideas. Always find new and inspiring ones but also trying to see if ‘areas’ exists, so to speak
- Karsten Schmidt
- I have still to catch up on many old episodes, so I personally am fine.
- Karsten Schmidt (Thi-ng/Umbrella), Ohad Asor (IDNI/TML), Antonin Hildebrand (ClojureScript?), Mathias Buus + Tlon (Hypercore / Dat on Urbit?), Dmytri Kleiner (Telecommunism w/o code?)
- Jonathan Blow, Casey Muratori, Sean Barret, Abner Coimbre
- my favorite aspect of the podcast is that there is breadth. I want to see a continued variety of guests.The future of coding is not just visual programming and it’s not just pl theory. The podcast exposes me to new ways of thinking about programming, in the spirit of Bret Victor. As long as you keep doing that, I’m happy.
- There’s a “cluster” of high-profile, if you will, guests that weren’t on the podcast yet: Bret Victor itself, May-Li Khoe, Andy Matuschak
- I love how it’s been going. The more variety and “new” (not “news”), the better!
- Can’t think of any specific guests I’d like to see, but I’d love to hear more on knowledge management and preservation topics. I feel there is a reservoir of untapped KOS research that could help the productivity of our information wrangling, which for many is in the stone age. Maybe Juan Benet of IPFS etc. to talk about infostructure.
Finally, the good stuff! I had such a blast reading all these descriptions of the threads that bind us together. On the episode, I read them all. Every. Single. One. Set to music. That was a really fun way to end the episode, and that’s also how I’ll end this post.
If you’re new to the community, I invite you to join us. Once again, you can find a CSV of the survey results here, and I invite you to do your own datavis and share it with us. I hope you enjoyed this first ever community survey. Stay safe, and I’ll see you in the (very near) future!
- It means thinking about going beyond what we currently have so we someday solve currently intractable problems. Off topic would be someone trying to get answers for their CS homework assignment.
- Tangential, but I think a code of conduct might be a good idea insofar as community growth is concerned
- Anything visionary that changes the politics or paradigms involved in building or adapting software
- Efforts to better restructure the relation between people and technology
- Future of Coding is essentially a new wave of creative tools that aim to democratize programming to a wider audience.
- I view the main goal to be empowering everyone to make use of computing without being an expert. There are many paths to get there, so it’s great to see different experiments we’re each building along the way.
- Really blur line, but I’d like a bit of a separation between more theoretical topics (dependent typing, category theory, compilers, etc) from practical ones. It sounds hard to do tho, because something like a semantic editor seems to be a bit of both
- Future of coding should be about how to democratize programming. Empower people. That’s what has the highest potential for impact in my opinion.
- I just joined so I don’t have any strong opinion, but I prefer an emphasis on thinking tools rather than coding as such. Seems like there is plenty of that here despite the name.
- The future of coding means the next generation of tools and techniques that programmers and users will use to create software. On topic is reports of technical progress or novel UI ideas, off topic is plugging corporate projects, although I understand the monetary benefits of the latter.
- I suspect just counting comments on threads would give us an overview.
- Rediscovering good ideas and trying to make them more accessible
- I feel like type systems and some of the similar low level discussions are not about the future. The future means things exponentially better than now. It means big vision.
- Making programming humane
- Anything related to making the computing medium vastly better, more fun and easier for all of us - professional coders and non professional users.
- To me, the future of coding is not just thinking up new programming languages or IDEs, it’s about really thinking about the nature of software and the deep problems that we need to solve. It’s about thinking how different the process of building software would be if we incorporated some of the ideas that “fell by the wayside” in the 70’s and 80’s due to hardware constraints.
- It’s all on the table, man. So many things are needed, so little funding.
- expressive, interactive, flexible tools to think, understand, communicate and solve problems
- For me at this point it’s pretty much anything considered as “wild”, “unpractical” or “too academical” from the point of view of conventional / mainstream programmers. What I especially appreciate about this community is its focus on the history and evolution of programming and intent to learn from that history. It’s especially refreshing compared to the general overhype in the industry where superficial changes are branded as “revolutionary” every 6 months or so. All without any interest to more substantially change the status quo.
- To me it’s “Future of Programming”, specifically not via anything that resembles “Coding”. But I’m an end-user-programming person which is a smaller subset of the community I believe. Other than that, it’s whatever people say it is, except I’m concerned about having too many commercially-backed folk rocking up selling their No-Code tools, but it’s not a big issue yet!
- If it changes the way people interact with computers in the future, it’s on topic.
- It seems like all dots are there unfortunately we somehow stopped connecting them busy with scrolling down content on our mobiles. What future is ahead of us then?
- “Future of Coding” for me is more “Future of Programming”. I.e. how do we imagine and build new environments that help people, both non experts and experts, easily going through the act of programming. This future is also about helping creating stuff and managing thoughts, sharing and collaborating on all this.
- I’ve been looking for a community like this for years. The ideas are very much inspired by Bret Victor but didn’t start with him. It’s about the potential for more “humane” computing. I didn’t study computer science and I learned to program out of necessity and although I never intentend to become a full-time software developer, that’s exactly what happened. It’s not really possible to build powerful systems and apps without doing it full-time because it’s so absurdly complicated. I don’t want to spend the majority of my time alive on Earth in front of a computer debugging obscure runtime (compile-time) errors. There needs to be a better way. There needs to be lots of better ways.
- The list on Page 3 was perfect
- Honestly, it’s not encouraging. It feels like a place corrupted by mediocracy. Moonshot ideas are far and few, while incremental ideas are promoted often. I would bet that a product that splashes hard in the industry won’t be part of this community.
- Early thinkers and adopters community
- Anything that pushes the status quo of coding. Prefer revolutionary over evolutionary, but other are good.
- As professional programmer I am interested literally on future of CODING so how I can make my own work order of magnitude more efficient. From angle of tool maker I am also interested about how my end-product can be order of magnitude more versatile. Let’s call it future of rich human-computer interaction. Twist: Rich human-computer interaction can be done in coding. There are possibly other systems in which this is possible, but I’m not aware of them.
- Future of thinking
- I am a junior dev, so a lot of things fly over my head. It’s nice to see the conversations. I am also a female, and I see a lot of guys going back and forth - could be intimidating. Honestly don’t mind since I don’t participate
- the community is what it is, and I wouldn’t want to impose my personal tastes. but fwiw, I would be most interested in discussion of topics further afield from present-day programming culture. the most interesting views on the “future of programming” come from other cultures, not Hacker News.
- on topic: the relationship(s) between humans and technology
- long topic!!! I’d say anything that relates to how people usually code now, vs how they might in 50 years
- rethinking everything and rediscovering the past with a new lens
- Methods and tools for systems design
- Excellent question!
- Connect with people who have the courage to rethink everything that they currently do to survive. Those with the courage to saw off the branch they sit on, knowing that something deep inside their soul is a rocket pack, if they just force themselves to find it.
- I like the expansive definition we seem to have been using so far! My own interests are primarily in making programming-like activities more approachable to a wider range of people, so I lean toward end user programming-ish stuff by default, but I like how conceptually diverse the current range of perspectives within the community seems to be.
- A 10X (or more) simplification of programming. Dramatic improvement in fewer increments vs status quo (“Present of programming”) where progress is debatable or happens in very small increments over longer periods of time.
- Not sure, I don’t have a lot of concrete ideas about Future of Programming, I like listening to what other people say and offer a rare comment where I think I have something relevant others might want to know about.
- Anything that hints at what programming will/should/could look like 10-50 years from now.
- Everything related to how we may use technology in the future, focused on the creation aspect (alt: organising + communicating data/processes(logic)/thoughts)
- Alternative approaches that stretch the bounds of what we’d traditionally call “programming” but allow for the same effects. Improvements in traditional coding in terms of process and tooling. Weird esoteric environments that are challenging, entertaining or niche in what they do but still expand horizons.
- Anything which tries to radically break with “that’s just how things are” in making computers work for us.
- file-less, type-less cloud-first, live development with no difference between building and running environments (but different envs for prod and dev naturally). Only permanent objects in the cloud.
- For me future of coding mostly means looking to history and exploring alternative computing concepts, often forgotten for years, anew. I am not against new ideas, but it often seems there are none, just new implementations of something someone already tried. Making a good implementation is often the hardest part, though.
- i feel like whatever it means to people seems to be working fine. I’d have a head time putting it into terms here.
- Anything that’s dissatisfied with the current state of practice in computation and software development
- There may be a new paradigm shift coming, from Mobile to AR, if web is preferable to native then exokit.org is the only thing I see so far… I’d also like to know the best way for doing 3D printing based on programmable code models.
- Admit moor’s law is over and start taking that seriously
- This is a hard question. In theory, academic research, commercial projects, and personal projects, are all fine, as long as they are attempting to explore or push some aspect of computing in a new direction that is different than the current main stream. Even bringing up old ideas is often useful for this. Blatant spam or selling of a product, or soliciting free work is always annoying, but other than that most things seem reasonable.
- For me, it’s about making programming (and authoring or customizing of software and software tools) as easy, direct, and fluid as possible. I also see a future where users can connect services and tools and their own data how where they like, as if playing with tinker toys
- “Future of Coding” is a vast and fluid notion to me. The most condensed distillation I can come up with is: computing allowed and could further enable crucial social benefits, but this incarnation cannot continue for long. Its baroque complexity makes it way too fragile, and it is operating in an environment of mounting instability which threatens catastrophic knowledge loss. I count as members of the wider Future of Coding community those who recognize the implications of the storm brewing and are working to retool for resilience, under banners such as small is beautiful.
- This community is about figuring out how we (as in us, as creators) can design better ways of enabling people to produce computational artifacts (i.e. with some degree of interactivity or responsiveness). I think our visions need to start from fundamentals, rather than incremental improvements (e.g. IDEs). I think our community follows this spirit.
I do too.