'Masterful . . . [Thompson] illuminates both the fascinating coders and the bewildering technological forces that are transforming the world in which we live.' David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
Facebook’s algorithms shaping the news. Uber’s cars flocking the streets. Revolution on Twitter and romance on Tinder. We live in a world constructed of computer code. Coders – software programmers – are the people who built it for us. And yet their worlds and minds are little known to outsiders.
In Coders, Wired columnist Clive Thompson presents a brilliantly original anthropological reckoning with the most influential tribe in today’s world, interrogating who they are, how they think, what they value, what qualifies as greatness in their world, and what should give us pause.
One of the most prominent journalists writing on technology today, Clive Thompson takes us into the minds of coders, the most quietly influential people on the planet, in a journey into the heart of the machine – and the men and women who made it.
Fascinating. Thompson is an excellent writer and his subjects are themselves gripping... Many books have covered this territory, but Coders is bang up to date in a fast-moving world... Perhaps [coders will] give it to loved ones, with a note attached: “Read this, that’s me!” ― Nature
Clive Thompson is more than a gifted reporter and writer. He is a brilliant social anthropologist. And, in this masterful book, he illuminates both the fascinating coders and the bewildering technological forces that are transforming the world in which we live. -- David Grann, author of The Lost City of Z
With an anthropologist’s eye, [Thompson] outlines [coders’] different personality traits, their history and cultural touchstones. He explores how they live, what motivates them and what they fight about. By breaking down what the actual world of coding looks like . . . he removes the mystery and brings it into the legible world for the rest of us to debate. Human beings and their foibles are the reason the internet is how it is – for better and often, as this book shows, for worse. ― New York Times
With his trademark clarity and insight, Clive Thompson gives us an unparalleled vista into the mind-set and culture of programmers, the often-invisible architects and legislators of the digital age. -- Steven Johnson, author of How We Got to Now
It’s a delight to follow Clive Thompson’s roving, rollicking mind anywhere. When that “anywhere” is the realm of the programmers, the pleasure takes on extra ballast. Coders is an engrossing, deeply clued-in ethnography, and it’s also a book about power, a new kind: where it comes from, how it feels to wield it, who gets to try – and how all that is changing. -- Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Before I read this brilliantly accessible book . . . coding was something of a foggy concept to me . . . There are strings of engaging insights into the anthropology of computer programmers. ― Bookseller
An avalanche of profiles, stories, quips, and anecdotes in this beautifully reported book returns us constantly to people, their stories, their hopes and thrills and disappointments . . . Fun to read, this book knows its stuff and makes it fun to learn. “If we want to understand how today’s world works,” Thompson writes in his introduction, "we ought to understand something about coders.” His book . . . ensures, delightfully, that we can.
― Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Clive Thompson is a longtime contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired. He is the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better.