Language Design with Brian Kernighan | Software Engineering Daily Play in new window | Download

“The best computer science is the kind where the theory is inspired by some practical problem, you develop a better theoretical understanding of what you want to do, and that feeds back into better practice.”

Brian Kernighan is a professor of computer science at Princeton University and the author of several books, including “The Go Programming Language” and “The C Programming Language”, a book more commonly referred to as K&R. Professor Kernighan also worked at Bell Labs alongside Unix creators Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie and contributed to the development of Unix.


What are the timeless characteristics that define a successful programming language?

How did people categorize languages 50 years ago?

What would people have been posting on Hacker News in 1965?

Why is Java so popular, and why do you think it’s strongly hyped?

Computers have become more powerful over time – how has this affected language design?

What are your thoughts on JavaScript?

What did you learn while writing a book about Go?

What did you learn about programming and life from working with Dennis Ritchie?


How to succeed in language design without really trying

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript: The Good Parts

The Go Programming Language

Plan 9

The C Programming Language (K&R)

Brian’s professor page

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