From the first day of the semester forward we expect students (you) to visit this page once per 24 hours.
“To be any kind of professional means being willing to tell the client a truth he doesn’t want to hear.” – Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
“I’m still friends with folks I worked with decades ago, many who would beat me up in meetings, ripping apart my arguments with what seemed like an ice pick. Still, they made me better.” – Andy Kessler
Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 9:08:29pm
Presenters: Jose Manzur, David Yan
Head Reader: Akshay Dupuguntla
Assistant Reader: Jamie Lin
Secretary: Alec Norrie
Presenters: Garrett Michiels, Ross Curcio
Head Reader: Nuocheng Wang
Assistant Reader: Kyle Ednie
Secretary: Luke Po
Presenters: Max Leroux, Xun Xu
Head Reader: Caroline Zhu
Assistant Reader: Jason Cheung
Secretary: Jacob Monticello
Presenters: Vedant Rautela, Carlos Gimeno
Head Reader: Diego Valdivia Cox
Assistant Reader: Zach O'Brien
Secretary: Qishen Pang
Presenters: Kelli Therrien, Ty Marshall
Head Reader: Dylan Burati
Assistant Reader: Jaron Cui
Secretary: Jack Whitten
Presenters: Can Ivit, Luka Jovanovic
Head Reader: Thomas Mactaggart
Assistant Reader: Charles Williams
Secretary: Lillianna Gund
Presenters: Dylan Huang, Brian Gay
Head Reader: Hussain Khalil
Assistant Reader: David Mitre
Secretary: Simar Gursimar
Presenters: Chengyi Kuang, Zekai Shen
Head Reader: Jason Jn Baptiste
Assistant Reader: Logan Morneault
Secretary: Shashwat Patel
Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 10:03:47am
Someone asked me yesterday how I learned to write (in English, as an immigrant). My answer addressed the “negative feedback” part of an improvement cycle, not the “positive energy” part.
Reading literature and books on writing is the essence of the second half of my answer. Reading good literature helps you understand writing somewhat; see Hemingway’s description of his torturous procedures of writing individual paragraphs (in his Paris novels).
Reading books on writing is a good start, which is why I list Strunk and White on the Readings page. An alternative is
which, as the title suggests, originates in computer science. Which books are helpful depends on your situation and goals.
Saturday, September 24th, 2022 6:55:31pm
The transformation of textual information into internal
data is known as parsing, a technical problem that spawned an
entire research area. Parsing is so complex, it should never be used
in an introductory course but to this day, many such courses assign
programs that read text, analyze it, and react to it—
At first glance, JSON is a simple notation for writing down information in terms of Booleans, Strings, Numbers, arrays of JSON expressions, and objects of JSON expressions. But, as it turns out, turning JSON information into internal data is a minefield; indeed, no two JSON parsers seem to accept the same, non-simple JSON inputs.
You should keep this fact in mind for your upcoming co-op and future employment.
In case you need an example of the problems that such complexity – due to simple-looking notation – can cause, read up on how JSON reading can bring down Windows.
Friday, September 23rd, 2022 9:12:53am
A Diversion On Wednesday I briefly addressed the difference
between arbitrarily large and infinite in my
In response Ben pointed me to a fun video that explains this idea at an intuitive level. Enjoy!
Monday, September 19th, 2022 8:00:00am
Please read Egoless Programming. It is the only required reading text this semester.
Thursday, September 15th, 2022 6:43:54am
A student came to my office hours last night with questions about the teaching philosophy behind the course and the core curriculum. For anyone who’s interested in this question on how to design a core programming curriculum, please visit
Tuesday, September 13th, 2022 6:01:40pm
Sam asked me not to deduct points. He worked around this problem.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2022 2:19:59pm
Welcome to Software Development Fall 2022.
See Abstract for a concise course description.
The quote at the top of the page characterizes how the instructors will lead this course as professionals. They firmly embrace the idea that if you pay a lot of money for education, the instructors have an obligation to deliver as much value as possible. The course is an intensive experience.
If you choose to take the course, familiarize yourself with the web site as
quickly as possible. For the first couple of weeks, —
Since most of you are too young to remember the massive crashes of the tech industry that your instructors have experienced, here is a collection of recent headlines.
Every year the course comes with a different theme song, usually from someone who recently died. (Yes your lead instructor is that old.) Well, Tom Petty died some years back but the song’s title is still a good theme.
Alternatively, watch a tribute version from Fenway Park.