John Ousterhout - It's Not You, It's the Codebase

EP-131 | September 19, 2022 | 49:22

Robby has a chat with Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, John Ousterhout. John founded Electric Cloud with John Graham-Cumming. Ousterhout was a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley where he created the Tcl scripting language and the Tk platform-independent widget toolkit and proposed the idea of co-scheduling. Ousterhout led the research group that designed the experimental Sprite operating system and the first log-structured file system. Ousterhout also led the team that developed the Magic VLSI computer-aided design (CAD) program.

When it comes to the maintainability of software, John is more interested in the design aspects of software and feels that indeed the core goal of good software design is to make it easier to maintain software and continually improve it. He explains what problem decomposition is all about and why his course on the art of software design is probably the only one of its kind in the world. 

Join the convo as he also talks about how to write good code comments and why they are so important, the main differences between tactical and strategic programming, how engineers can discuss long-term improvements with their boss, how his curriculum has students approach a project with two different designs before deciding which to proceed with, and so much more. Enjoy!

Book Recommendations:

Helpful Links

Subscribe to Maintainable on:

Or search "Maintainable" wherever you stream your podcasts.

Join the discussion in the Maintainable Discord Community

🎧 Listen from Anywhere 🪐

You can find the Maintainable Software Podcast on all the usual places you can find tech podcasts.

Subscribe to the Maintainable Podcast Newsletter

Elevate your coding journey with insider insights from Robby and the pros. Discover the secrets to tackling technical debt and revitalizing legacy code, all in one place. Because who says you can't teach an old code new tricks?