A reading club with a view to the future

242 Clive Thompson: Coders

An exploration of the culture and impact of the tech industry through the eyes of software developers and their innovations.

Clive Thompson: Coders


Coders is a book that explores the culture and impact of the tech industry through the eyes of software developers and their innovations. The author, Clive Thompson, delves into the world of coding and examines the ways in which it is changing the world, from the rise of social media and artificial intelligence to the way we work and communicate. Along the way, he explores the unique subculture of software developers and their role in shaping the future of technology.


Title: Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World

Author: Clive Thompson

Publishing year: 2019

Publisher: Penguin Press

Length in hours: 13 hours and 22 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Software developers are the architects of the digital age, creating the platforms and tools that shape our lives.
  2. The culture of the tech industry, particularly among software developers, is shaped by a set of shared values and beliefs that prioritize innovation and disruption.
  3. The impact of software development extends far beyond the tech industry, shaping the way we work, communicate, and interact with the world around us.
  4. The rise of social media and artificial intelligence has created new challenges and opportunities for software developers, and is transforming the way we think about privacy, democracy, and human nature.
  5. The future of software development will be shaped by ongoing debates over issues such as diversity, ethics, and the role of technology in society.
Clive Thompson: Coders

5 funny quotes

  1. "Software developers: turning coffee into code since the dawn of the digital age."
  2. "Debugging: being the detective in a crime movie where you are also the murderer."
  3. "Code is like humor. When you have to explain it, it's bad."
  4. "Coding is 90% debugging and 10% thinking you can solve a problem with regular expressions."
  5. "Coding is the closest thing we have to a superpower. With the right code, you can change the world."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "Coders are the unacknowledged legislators of the digital age."
  2. "The most valuable people in Silicon Valley are the ones who can bring together disparate ideas and make something new and powerful out of them."
  3. "In tech, we never fully know what we're building until it's built."
  4. "Software has eaten the world, and coders are the ones feeding it."
  5. "The myth of the lone genius coder is just that - a myth. The best code is written by teams, not individuals."

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing the need for innovation and disruption with concerns about privacy, security, and other ethical considerations.
  2. Navigating the challenges of working in a highly competitive and demanding industry, and finding ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  3. Addressing issues of diversity and representation within the tech industry, and working to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace.
  4. Balancing the needs of business and the needs of users, and finding ways to create products and services that benefit both.
  5. Dealing with the rapidly changing landscape of technology and the need to constantly adapt and learn new skills in order to stay relevant.

5 examples

  1. Facebook, and the ways in which the platform has transformed social interactions and our understanding of privacy and democracy.
  2. Google, and the role of search algorithms and artificial intelligence in shaping the way we access and understand information.
  3. The open-source community, and the role of collaborative development in creating new tools and platforms.
  4. Apple, and the ways in which its products have transformed the way we consume media and interact with technology.
  5. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, and its work to protect digital rights and freedoms in the face of increasing government and corporate control.

Referenced books

  1. "The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win" by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford
  2. "Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions" by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
  3. "The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution" by Walter Isaacson
  4. "The Soul of a New Machine" by Tracy Kidder
  5. "The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography" by Simon Singh

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"Coders are the unacknowledged legislators of the digital age."

Clive Thompson: Coders
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