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Humans of Computer Systems: Frenchie

Programming How did you learn to program? I was lucky that our 5th grade (age 9-10) teacher knew how to use the computers in the school. I learned a little bit of BASIC on a Thomson MO-5. Then I had other hobbies until high school, at which point I joined a semi-formal programming class hosted by a math teacher. That's where I really cut my teeth with Pascal and x86 assembly. Later I got a degree in software engineering. Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. I would mention two.  One is a critical component in a distributed system: several thousand lines of code, highly concurrent, performance sensitive, high risk (data corruption), lots of tests, months to get it right, years of refinements (optimizations, new use cases). Very valuable. It is far from perfect in several ways, but it worked very well in production for many years across many customers. An invisible part of a complex system. The other is a short script (a couple hundred lines), a mix

Humans of Computer Systems: Goku

Programming How did you learn to program? In college Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. contributed to zfs, oracle file systems (writeback, journal, snapshot compaction) Who did you learn most from about computer systems? books, internet, architects Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? Brian bendelorf (ZFS on Linux) maintainer, Matt Ahrens What is the best code you have seen? zfs, tintri file systems, yugabytedb, linux kernel What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field? understanding the fundamentals, not giving up, digging deep What quality or ability do you value most in a computer systems person? Ability to debug code which others have written, mainly to the point that the RCA (root cause analysis) is correct and not superficial Ability to write clean decent design code at speed Simplicity in the complete process of systems software development Adding meaningful debugging

Humans of Computer Systems: IndianDev

Programming How did you learn to program? I started programming at a relatively young age, around 6th standard (in India). Initially leanred HTML, CSS from w3school and online tutorial blogs/videos, then learned C++, mostly from School curriculum book. In college, I throughly enjoyed reading "Thinking in C++". Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. I remember the first project I did in school which I'm really proud of, even though it was more of a toy fun project. It was an image editor for BMP files, written in C++.  Who did you learn most from about computer systems? Hacker News, I have been following it since high school. Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? Interestingly, my own definition of good programmer has changed few times. In college times, I used to admire programmers who had strong algorithmic skills required for ICPC like competitions, but lately I have realised it's equally importan

Humans of Computer Systems: Dalecooper

Programming How did you learn to program? Two MOOCs: "Python for Everybody" on Coursera, and University of Helsinki's Java MOOC. Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. Decryption processor for use in Apache NiFi Who did you learn most from about computer systems? The Internet Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? My co-worker. His ability to hold onto macro concepts and think about systems as a whole while coding, instead of tunnel-visioning and focusing only on the "micro" aspect of implementation, is impressive.  What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field? Communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving (the latter two often going hand-in-hand). What quality or ability do you value most in a computer systems person? Strong communication skills Personal Which of your work/code/accomplishments are you most proud of? Creating a decryption processor fo

Humans of Computer Systems: Obdurodon

Programming How did you learn to program? Some college, some self taught, mostly on the job Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. Cluster manager (leader election + fault detection/response) for HACMP/6000 in 1983. Primitive by today's standards, but cutting edge for its time. Used in production at a significant percentage of banks, retail stores, etc. for about a decade. Who did you learn most from about computer systems? Various senior/principal engineers at Encore when I was still junior in ~1990. It was one of the early UNIX SMP systems. Learned much of what I know about kernels, TCP/IP, multi-processor synchronization, memory hierarchies, etc. Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? TBH some of the best programmers I've met worked primarily in Verilog, designing chips and tools around them - e.g. Wilson Snyder and others at SiCortex/Veripool. Huge volume, but also rigorous testing leading to *very* low de

Humans of Computer Systems: A. Jesse Jiryu Davis

Programming How did you learn to program? First learned with LOGO on an Apple II in an elementary school summer program. Taught myself C++ from a textbook in high school, and majored in Computer Science in college. Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. I wanted to ensure all MongoDB drivers, in a dozen programming languages, implement the MongoDB wire protocol the same. I encoded sample network protocol conversations in YAML, and wrote a multi-language test framework to check that each driver creates the exact messages in the same sequence as in the YAML samples. Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? Ben Darnell, whose async Python framework, Tornado, inspired Python's standard asyncio module. What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field? First, to recognize the engineering challenges worth doing, and do them instead of those that are the most fun or aesthetically satisfying.

Humans of Computer Systems: afk

 Continuing with the  Humans of Computer Systems series ... If you enjoy reading this series and like to read more,  consider taking 10 minutes and submitting a response . All questions are optional. You can skip most, and tell a lot more on some questions you choose. Programming How did you learn to program? self taught, bit more formally than usual Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. A search engine Who did you learn most from about computer systems? open source codebases, wikipedia, specifications, man pages. so really the foss community in general. What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field? successful as in billionaire? marketing. successful as in stable job? javascript and css nowadays, unfortunately. successful as in well known but not a billionaire? blogging. successful as in peaceful? ignorance. What quality or ability do you value most in a computer systems person? communication Personal What comes to y

Humans of Computer Systems: Rafael

 Continuing with the  Humans of Computer Systems serie s. If you enjoy reading this series and like to read more, consider taking 10 minutes and submitting a response . All questions are optional. You can skip most, and tell a lot more on some questions you choose. Programming How did you learn to program? When I was 7 my teacher gave me a "My First Computer Book" to read, it was for kids, in the 80s. It taught kids how to program in BASIC and I was hooked. Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote. I once implemented the original UNIX filesystem for Linux. Who did you learn most from about computer systems? Helpful people on IRC. Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them? I don't really know what a great programmer is supposed to be, but I feel like everyone else is better than me at something so I guess... every programmer? What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field? Persi

Humans of Computer Systems: Arcot

I had sent out a call for this yesterday . The idea is to share stories from people working on computer systems (including distributed, security, databases, webservices, OS, hardware, enterprise, cloud etc). Today one response arrived. Here it is. I enjoyed reading this. I learned about the nature of software work in manufacturing companies. I learned about an interesting blog to follow.  If you enjoy reading this response, and like to read more like that, please take 10 minutes and submit a response. All questions are optional . (Yesterday I messed up about this due to the bad UI in Google forms. It wasn't clear which direction of "Required" was turning it on vs off. Sorry about it.) You can skip most, and tell a lot more on some questions you choose. Programming How did you learn to program?  Reading manuals, and practice.  Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote.  Code downloader for Comcast Cable card.  Who did you learn most from about

Humans of computer systems

I follow "Humans of New York" account on Twitter, and I am inspired by the interesting stories of everyday people tell in that account.  I like to have the same thing for "Humans of Computer Systems". I want to read about the human stories from people working on computer systems (including distributed, security, databases, webservices, OS, hardware, enterprise, cloud etc.). "Coders at Work" was a great book. I think it came close to capturing the humans of computer systems vision. But I want to see this to be open to everyday people of computer systems, not just famous coders. I want to hear human stories from developers, practitioners, graduate students, hobbyists, theoreticians, open-source hackers, hardware hackers, automated verification people, self-learners, veterans, everyone. OK, fine, even machine learning people. I want this to be instructive as well. Let's learn from everyone. Every one has a story to tell, and interesting thing to teach.

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