52 episodes

The Future of Coding podcast features interviews with toolmakers, researchers, computational artists, educators, and engineers, all with compelling viewpoints on what the future of computing could be.

Future of Coding Future of Coding

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

The Future of Coding podcast features interviews with toolmakers, researchers, computational artists, educators, and engineers, all with compelling viewpoints on what the future of computing could be.

    Amjad Masad: Replit

    Amjad Masad: Replit

    The name Replit will be familiar to regular listeners of our show. The backstory and ambitions behind the project, however, I bet will be news to you. Amjad Masad, the founder and first programmer of Replit, is interviewed by Steve Krouse in this episode from the vault — recorded back in 2019, released for the first time today. Amjad shares the stories of how he taught himself to use a computer by secretly observing his father, his early experiments with Emscripten building VMs for the web, the founding of Replit, and how their community has exploded in popularity in recent years. Some of the conceptual discussions touch on Scheme, potential futures of visual programming, Sketchpad, and GRAIL.

    The transcript for this episode was sponsored, as ever, by Replit.

    The show notes and transcript are available right here: https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/052

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 2 hrs
    Toby Schachman: Cuttle, Apparatus, and Recursive Drawing

    Toby Schachman: Cuttle, Apparatus, and Recursive Drawing

    In this episode, I'll be talking to Toby Schachman, who many of you are surely familiar with thanks to an incredible string of projects he's released over the past decade, including Recursive Drawing back in 2012, Apparatus in 2015, and most recently Cuttle which opened to the public this past week. All of these projects superficially appear to be graphics editors, but by interacting with them you actually create a program that generates graphics. Their interfaces are wildly different from both traditional programming tools and traditional graphics apps. If you are not familiar with these projects, I strongly recommend that you actually go and play them (they all run in the browser), or watch the Strange Loop talk where Toby demos Apparatus and explains the thinking behind it.

    This episode was sponsored by Glide, and the transcript was sponsored by Replit — thanks to them both for making this possible.

    The show notes and transcript are available right here: https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/051

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 54 min
    Mary Rose Cook: Isla & Code Lauren

    Mary Rose Cook: Isla & Code Lauren

    Mary Rose Cook is a programmer with.. just.. so many side projects, oh my — and, she works at Airtable. Mary created Gitlet, a version of Git in 1000 lines of JavaScript with extensive annotation. That might be her most well-known project, but of particular interest to our community are her programming environments Isla and Code Lauren. These projects explore syntax, learnability, execution visualization, and other surfaces of the development experience that I think we all would love to see reinvented. Mary and I talk about the design decisions behind these projects, naturally. But more importantly, we look at the ways they failed to achieve the goals Mary had for them, and what we should all be mindful of on our investigations into the future of computing. The discussion also touches on the theme of "escape hatches", picks up a few lessons in UI design from the video games Into The Breach and The Witness, and reflects on what people think programming is like before they actually learn what it really is. Lighthearted but full of wisdom.

    We have a new sponsor for today's episode: Glide. If you're excited about making end-user software development a reality, go to glideapps.com/jobs and apply to join their team.

    As ever, the transcript for this episode is sponsored by Replit.

    The show notes and transcript are available right here: https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/050

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 2 hrs 14 min
    Ravi Chugh: Sketch-n-Sketch

    Ravi Chugh: Sketch-n-Sketch

    Ravi Chugh is a (recently-tenured 🎉) prof at the University of Chicago. He’s famous for leading the Sketch-n-Sketch project, an output-directed, bidirectional programming tool that lets you seamlessly jump back and forth between coding and directly manipulating your program’s output. The tool gives you two different projected editing interfaces for the same underlying program, so that you can leverage the different strengths of each. In the interview we talk about the principles of bidirectional editing, the team and history behind the Sketch-n-Sketch project, benchmarks and values that can be used to assess these sorts of novel programming interfaces, possible future directions for Sketch-n-Sketch and the field more broadly, and a bunch more. It’s a long one — almost two and a half hours — but it’s packed with thought and charm.

    The transcript for this episode was sponsored by Repl.it. Show notes and the full transcript are available here: https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/049

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 2 hrs 18 min
    Jennifer Jacobs: Para & Dynamic Brushes

    Jennifer Jacobs: Para & Dynamic Brushes

    "Metaphors are important here."

    There's a small handful of people that I've been requested again and again to interview on the Future of Coding podcast. Jennifer Jacobs is one of those people. Her work on Dynamic Brushes in particular, and parametric drawing in general, occupies a major intersection between disciplines and provides insights that we can all apply to our own work. This interview touches on childhood education, programming tools for both non-programmers and expert programmers, tangible interfaces, wearable and embodied computation, aesthetics, the relationship between academia and industry, means of evaluating the efficacy of projects, geometric encodings of first-order logic, symbolic representations, whether Scratch could exist outside MIT, and more. Jennifer does a wonderful job articulating the nature her own work, but also the works of her collaborators, peers, and influences, so that we come away with a great understanding for the broader spaces in which her research fits. Jennifer is already am important figure in our Future of Coding field, and I am very excited to follow her career and see all the places the impacts of her work will be felt.

    You'll notice right away that Steve is sitting in the interviewer chair this time. This is the first of a handful of episodes that Steve recorded in 2019 but didn't release. I'm planning to edit and release them throughout 2020, so you'll hear a bit more of Steve yet.

    The transcript for this episode was sponsored by Repl.it. Show notes and the full transcript are available here: https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/48

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 52 min
    Max/MSP & Pure Data: Miller Puckette

    Max/MSP & Pure Data: Miller Puckette

    Miller Puckette created "The Patcher" Max (the precursor to Max/MSP), and later Pure Data, two of the most important tools in the history of visual programming and computer music. Max was designed by Miller in the mid-1980s as an aid to computer-music composers who wanted to build their own dynamic systems without needing write C code. Max had no facility for sound generation at first, but that would come eventually with the addition of MSP. A decade later, after some academic politics nonsense forced him away from Max, Miller went on to create its successor, the open source Pure Data. Both Max/MSP and Pure Data have become wildly popular, with Max/MSP as a more polished-looking commercial product developed by Cycling '74 (now owned by music behemoth Ableton), and Pure Data as the thriving independent community project of hackers and techno-punks. Node-and-wire visual programming languages are almost a cliche at this point, as the vast majority of them either borrow heavily or at least reference the visual design of Miller Puckette's original Max patcher and its MSP/Pd offspring. Though as you'll hear in the interview, many of them are poorer for not rethinking some of the underling assumptions of their inspiration.

    I decided to bring Miller on the show after hearing a fabulous interview of him by Darwin Grosse on the Art + Music + Technology podcast. (Tip: subscribe, it's good.) Miller gave a great retelling of the history of Max and Pure Data and the forces at play when he created them, and that episode is a tidy complement the more design-focussed interview here on our show. Miller mentioned in passing that one of the three books he has yet to write would be his thoughts on realtime scheduling, so that was the initial hook for my interview. Looking back on the 30+ years of Max/Pd history, what has he learned about the design of tools? What were the alternative ideas that he didn't pursue? Where is there room for improvement, perhaps by others picking up where he left off?

    In this interview, Miller said a handful of things that were, well, painful for me to hear as a dogmatic champion of visual programming. So if you come into this thinking it'll be a well-earned hour of congratulation and adoration, sit up and get ready to flip the dang table. This interview was a blast; on a personal level, I was thrilled to have the chance to talk to such an influential figure in the history of my field, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    Quote of the Show: "It's not only powerful, but it's also inadequate."

    The transcript for this episode was sponsored by Repl.it. For the full transcript and links go to https://futureofcoding.org/episodes/047

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Spiral Ganglion ,

A fantastic programming podcast for those on the cutting edge.

This podcast offers a stimulating series of interviews with both famous and obscure programming researchers, covering the entire spectrum of innovation and design in programming languages and theory and tools. One of my favourites.

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