I'm Jeff Atwood. I live in Berkeley, CA with my wife, two cats,
one three children, and a whole lot of computers. I was weaned as a software developer on various implementations of Microsoft BASIC in the 80's, starting with my first microcomputer, the Texas Instruments TI-99/4a. I continued on the PC with Visual Basic 3.0 and Windows 3.1 in the early 90's, although I also spent significant time writing Pascal code in the first versions of Delphi. I am now quite comfortable in VB.NET or C#, despite the evils of case sensitivity. I'm currently learning Ruby.
I consider myself a reasonably experienced
Windowsweb software developer with a particular interest in the human side of software development, as represented in my recommended developer reading list. Computers are fascinating machines, but they're mostly a reflection of the people using them. In the art of software development, studying code isn't enough; you have to study the people behind the software, too.
- In 2004 I began this blog. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but it changed my life. Everything that comes after was made possible by this blog.
In 2005, I found my dream job at Vertigo Software and moved to California. You can take a virtual tour of my old office if you'd like.
- In 2008 I decided to choose my own adventure. I founded and built stackoverflow.com, and what would ultimately become the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites, in a joint venture with Joel Spolsky. The Stack Exchange network is now one of the top 150 largest sites on the Internet.
- In early 2012 I decided to leave Stack Exchange and spend time with my growing family while I think about what the next thing could be. As of 2013, that turned out to be Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc. and the Discourse open-source discussion platform. Here's to the next
510 years of improving conversations on the Internet!
This blog runs the excellent open source Ghost blogging software, and is now graciously hosted on their blog hosting service.
Why do you blog?
Mostly for selfish reasons. I needed a way to keep track of software development over time – whatever I am thinking about or working on. I research things I find interesting, then document my research with a public blog post, which I can easily find and refer to later. Hopefully other people will find these posts helpful, relevant, or interesting. I firmly believe that blogs are a two way conversation, so I welcome email and comments – as long as they're on topic, more or less.
If you're into audio, there's a bit more in my 45 minute .NET Rocks interview. If you prefer interviews, I've done a few: one with ScribeSonic, one with Daily Blog Tips, and one with Caffeinated coder.
What the heck is that thing on the right?
It's a Wumpus. I sometimes go by the nickname or "handle" Wumpus online. The image is from one of my first computing experiences. I consider the Wumpus my power animal, but I don't look much like a Wumpus in person:
What is the meaning of 'Coding Horror'?
It's an image from the Steve McConnell book Code Complete used to illustrate dangerous code samples:
Code Complete is my all-time favorite programming book, and this particular icon from the book left a lasting impression on me. I think every practicing software developer has stared down more than a few Coding Horrors of their own creation at one point or another. I asked, and Steve was kind enough to let me to use the image and the name for my blog.
How can I contact you?
Are there any secret easter eggs?
Unfortunately, no. But you can buy Coding Horror T-Shirts or stickers if you're so inclined.