What Counts as a Programming Language: Recorded Q&A

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Last week I delivered “What Counts as a Programming Language” at Code BEAM V. I had given this talk earlier this year at Code Mesh (see here for more info about the talk itself), but for Code BEAM, the stakes felt higher. This time the talk was the keynote, in front of an audience full of programming language designers.

Luckily, all went well, and we got this great take of the talk:

Here’s the illustrated summary of the talk from Visual Partnership. I cried when I saw this thing. I can’t believe Carlo did this illustration in real time, and I think these might be my favorite stick people that I have ever seen in my life:

Illustration by Carlo Gilmar

After I have given a talk a few times, my favorite part becomes the questions part. People bring up new perspectives that add depth (and sometimes even prompt me to change the talk!)

Check out each of the questions that followed this talk with the timestamps below!

34:18 – What was the talk you mentioned about the design of regex? (This one 😉 in that answer I also mentioned Programming as Theory Building by Peter Naur)

35:45 – Is YAML a programming language?

39:33 – How do you tell if two domains are actually different?

41:52 – Does Elixir have tooling for working with graph databases (Cypher in particular)?

43:15 – How does first principles align with the process of deciphering context in approaching problems?

47:13 – What can we do to help new programmers to be more curious about the specific domain in which they are working?

If you liked this piece, you might also like:

The Raft series, of course! Learn to implement a distributed system from the comfort of your home, complete with gifs and smack talk!

Lessons from Space: Edge Free Programming—about what launchpads have in common with software, and what that means for you and your work!

A Watcher’s Guide to Edge-Free Programming, a talk by Michael Feathers—highly recommend this talk.

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