16 November 2019
I found another great podcast, but I have difficulty finding time to listen to it. I really need an hour of mindless yard work so I can focus on the interview.
I went out to rake leaves for the compost pile today and decided to listen to Language Oriented Design and SICP with Hal Abelson which really made the chore go quickly. Hal Abelson is one of the authors of "Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs" which came out while I was still in college. I was studying mathematics and coding in imperative languages. This book blew up my approach, it also started me down the path of using Scheme to explore patterns in programming.
My go-to exploratory language now is Python, but I remember finding out that SICP was the introduction to computation book at MIT and we formed a book club to work through it. Scheme seemed different from the languages that we were using for our work, but then again we were not thinking about solving the problem, just the problem we were given.
The interview explains why they wrote the book in the way they did, and how it would be written differently today in light of the cooperative programming practices used for problem solving. If you have given any thought to working through the book, give this podcast a try and then decide. You can work yourself through the entire book over the holidays, and I recommend that you code the examples. The text is even online now. SICP so price should not be a factor.