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The Holistic Programmer

Adam Keys

Track: Programming
Date: Wednesday, July 25
Time: 2:35pm - 3:20pm
Location: D139-140

Joel Spolsky famously wrote that abstractions leak. Try as they may, they inevitably fail to completely remove us from knowledge of the layers above and below our software. This is fact of life in software development, one we cannot vanquish through ingenuity or essays.

The Holistic Programmer embraces this little bit of postmodernism and dives into the layers directly above and directly below their software. They needn't have the scars of implementing those layers, but they do have the ability to keep up in conversation with those who do have the scars.

This talk aims to serve as a whirlwind tour though those layers above most software developers. Starting from the perspective of the typical web application developer, we'll drill down into the operating system, the compiler and runtime, the web server, the database, the processor architecture and TCP/IP. Then we'll bubble back up into topics like deployment, user experience, business and marketing, XHTML/CSS/JavaScript, visual design and project management.

In the end, we'll have the curiosity to dive into a layer or two and the ability to hold our own in a conversation with someone who has implemented one of these layers or took a college class on them.