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layout: post title: The Rise of Social Coding

status: published

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I will be talking about "The Rise of Social Coding" at the Social Media User Group. It will be held at the awesome Collective Agency on October 24th from 6-8pm.

Photo Credit: Jakob E

Some talking points that I will cover:

  • Where did social coding come from?
  • Where is social coding right now?
  • Where will social coding take us in the future?
  • How is social coding changing the way developers work?
  • Are resumes obsolete in a world of social coding?

Social coding is much older than most people think. Nobody knows any exact dates, but it most probably started with sneakernets in the 1960's and 1970's. Back in the old days when dinosaurs might eat your "console", the only way to share code was to copy files, modify them, and then pass them around on physical media.

A defining moment in the history of social coding is when the patch program was written by Larry Wall (of Perl fame) in May of 1985. There were surely other kinds of patching software before this (patches go all the way back to punch cards) but the patch program was the first Free + Open source software to accomplish this and formed the basis of most version control systems that evolved soon after it. Finally you could just pass around the part of the code that changed instead of whole files or whole codebases! This was huge when floppies reigned and megabytes were magically large quantities.

Fast-forward to now and we have Github, BitBucket, pull requests with in-line comments and snazzy web interfaces for social coding. Where are we going next? Come join us at the Social Media User Group and find out!

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