Found in 11 comments on Hacker News
eslaught · 2019-02-05 · Original thread
I'm surprised no one in this thread has mentioned Hacker & Painters:

This is the book that really got me into programing. I'd tried programming before, and had even studied a C++ textbook and written some simple programs. But it really hadn't clicked. Graham's points about the fundamental expressiveness of different programming languages really blew my mind. This started a chain of "learn language X and try to build Y" for different values of X and Y.

Part of what I realized is how much I had been hampered by how difficult C++ is to pick up (especially with the IDEs of the early 2000s, which would give you an "empty" project with a couple hundred lines of code in it). When I realized that to write a Perl script, all I needed to do was open Notepad and start from an empty file, it was just so unbelievably liberating. That and also, obviously, just how much easier dynamic languages are to work with in general. Of course I eventually came back to C++, but that was the spark which kicked off a journey that lead to me flying through CS in college and eventually ending up in a PhD program.

Edit: Fixed link. Note also that the essays are available online for free, though you have to reverse engineer the reading order from the table of contents.

jv22222 · 2017-08-25 · Original thread
Of course, the original comparison between coders and artists was made by Paul Graham in Hackers and Painters:

gusmd · 2016-01-03 · Original thread
Sorry if I'm going too far on a tangent here, but has anyone bought his book Hackers & Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age [0]?

It has been on my wishlist for quite a while now. The reviews are quite positive.


KenAdler · 2014-01-02 · Original thread
She might find inspiration in Paul Graham's "Hackers and Painters"

dpkendal · 2012-04-21 · Original thread
"The computer world is like an intellectual Wild West, in which you can shoot anyone you wish with your ideas, if you're willing to risk the consequences."

pefavre · 2011-12-06 · Original thread
I'm not much of a butt-licker, but Hackers and Painters: Big Ideas from the Computer Age from PG is a classic.
mindcrime · 2011-04-04 · Original thread
+1 for Cryptonomicon. It isn't the easiest book to get through, but it's very worthwhile.

Another couple of possibilities might be:

The Soul of a New Machine - Tracy Kidder

The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage - Clifford Stoll

Hackers & Painters - Paul Graham (yes, that Paul Graham)

gnubardt · 2011-01-03 · Original thread
That's for the kindle version, but the paperback edition is $11 [1].


dantheman · 2010-07-12 · Original thread
It's only $12.23 on amazon:

for the dead tree version.

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