There is no finer observer of technology’s effect on culture than Ellen Ullman, a career software engineer who is also one of America’s finest essayists. Long before the world gave us Facebook and Twitter, Ullman was writing about how the process of making software changes people—and about how software changes us, too. Each of her books—from Close to the Machine (https://us.macmillan.com/closetothemachine/ellenullman/9781250002488/) through The Bug (https://us.macmillan.com/thebug/ellenullman/9781250002495/) —has been an all-too-rare opportunity to discuss how technology is changing the paths of culture. This is no less true with her latest book, Life in Code (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374534516).
Fittingly, conversation will be held in the spacious assembly area of a real, live NYC software company, Postlight (https://postlight.com/). Ullman will speak with two other author-programmers, Postlight Partner and Engineer Gina Trapani (https://ginatrapani.org/) (founder of Lifehacker (https://lifehacker.com/)) and Postlight Engineer Drew Bell (https://trackchanges.postlight.com/@droob) (regular contributor to Track Changes (https://trackchanges.postlight.com/)), for a lively conversation about how a life lived in code shapes the coder—and what needs to change in a world dominated by technology.
If you’re someone who works in software and possess ethical curiosity, if you believe that your work matters beyond simply the latest status updates and release notes, and if you seek an ethical life as a programmer, you should attend this event. Otherwise you can stay home and read Hacker News.