Programming and Scaling

Reference: Programming and Scaling

A great Alan Kay-esque speech (by none other than Alan Kay himself).

Alan Kay is a great thinker and I always enjoy his talks, but he needs someone to refine his presentations---particularly his verbal explanations. There are lots of great ideas and perspectives, but mostly he is just saying that "we're doing it wrong". Much better would be to show us his analysis of a problem.

In general, I finish his presentations feeling like everyone is doing everything wrong but with no concrete steps to take to correct it. We are thinking wrong (we need better perspectives), we are programming wrong, we are engineering wrong, we are learning the wrong things, we are doing computer science wrong, etc.

I also finish thinking that a new and better way is possible, but again, with no idea of that better way except a vague notion of less and better code in less time.

And then here I am, trapped in a world of crappy computers and crappy thinking, with a feeling of unease. I wish he would come down to Earth a little and apply that big brain with its great perspectives to a problem on-camera. It would be concrete and I could learn to emulate his thinking.