Lydia Rea 30 August 2018
I am just starting out on a career in IT, and this book gives a really insightful and entertaining account of the history of computer programming, as well as the author’s personal journey as a computer programmer from the 70s through to the 2000s.
The author makes the subject come alive with a naturally amusing story-telling style, and with references to popular culture and its links to advances in technology. I’d definitely recommend this to seasoned programmers as well as people just starting out in the IT sector interested in understanding how it all began!
The Programmer's Odyssey is a memoir of the career of one of the pioneering commercial programmers who started work in the early days of the digital age.
The author writes about his working life in the IT trenches and in the Preface he says:
"the digital age, and so the existence of commercial computer programmers, still only spans a single working life, and one of them is mine. .... I've gone through most of the changes in the programming world in all their frequent craziness."
He includes full details of all the 'frequent craziness' which helps make the book highly readable and not a stodgy history of programming techniques and languages.
Reviewers have consistently commented on the book's readable style.
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"Well-paced account, enlivened by weaving in coming-of-age tales and the music of the time. Who would have thought a book on the history of programming could be so enthralling?"
Andrew Lewis, Fujitsu, UK
"... this should become part of the reading list for every computer science/IT student around the world ... the author has managed to pack it with great facts and chronology ... in amongst the cultural/musical backdrop he has lived through ... BUT most importantly it is very readable and enjoyable for anyone with even the faintest interest in these things ... fabulous"
Simon Besley, Independent IT & Services Professional, New Zealand
"I gave my students your book …… and they were surprised to see where it started for you all those years ago"
Martijn Wuite, The App Academy, Amsterdam