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Command Line Heroes

Command Line Heroes

Author: Red Hat

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Hear the epic true tales of how developers, programmers, hackers, geeks, and open source rebels are revolutionizing the technology landscape. Command Line Heroes is an award-winning podcast hosted by Saron Yitbarek and produced by Red Hat. Get root access to show notes, transcripts, and other associated content at https://redhat.com/commandlineheroes
27 Episodes
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The C Change

The C Change

2019-10-0100:25:438

C and UNIX are at the root of modern computing. Many of the languages we’ve covered this season are related to or at least influenced by C. But C and UNIX only happened because a few developers at Bell Labs created both as a skunkworks project. Bell Labs was a mid-twentieth century center for innovation. Jon Gertner describes it as an “idea factory.” One of their biggest projects in the 1960s was helping build a time-sharing operating system called Multics. Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin explains the hype around time-sharing at the time—it was described as potentially making computing accessible as a public utility. Large teams devoted years of effort to build Multics—and it wasn’t what they had hoped for. Bell Labs officially moved away from time-sharing in 1969. But as Andrew Tanenbaum recounts, a small team of heroes pushed on anyways. C and UNIX were the result. Little did they know how much their work would shape the course of technology.That's all for Season 3. If you want to dive deeper into C and UNIX, you can check out all our bonus material over at redhat.com/commandlineheroes. You’ll find extra content for every episode. Follow along with the episode transcript. Subscribe to the newsletter for more stories and to be among the first to see announcements about the podcast. See you soon for Season 4.
Creating a machine that thinks may have seemed like science fiction in the 1950s. But John McCarthy decided to make it a reality. And he started with a language he called LISP. Colin Garvey describes how McCarthy created the first language for AI. Sam Williams covers how early interest in thinking machines spread from academia to the business world, and how—after certain projects didn’t deliver on their promises—a long AI winter eventually set in. Ulrich Drepper explains that the dreams of AI went beyond what the hardware could deliver at the time.But hardware gets more powerful each and every day. Chris Nicholson points out that today’s machines have enough processing power to handle the resource requirements of AI—so much so that we’re in the middle of a revolutionary resurgence in AI research and development. Finally, Rachel Thomas identifies the languages of AI beyond LISP—evidence of the different kinds of tasks AI is now being prepared to do.If you want to dive deeper into LISP and the origins of artificial intelligence, you can check out all our bonus material over at redhat.com/commandlineheroes. You’ll find extra content for every episode.Follow along with the episode transcript.
Heroes in a Bash Shell

Heroes in a Bash Shell

2019-09-0300:27:3412

Shells make large-scale IT possible. They’re a necessary component to modern computing. But it might not have turned out that way without a lot of hard work from a developer at the Free Software Foundation named Brian Fox. Now, the Bash shell is shipped with almost every computer in the world.In the ‘70s, Bell Labs wanted to automate sequences of repetitive, complex commands. Chet Ramey describes how Bell developed several shells—but there could be only one officially supported shell for UNIX. Enter the Bourne shell. Though it was the best of that crop, the Bourne shell had its limits. And it was only available with a limited UNIX license. Brian J. Fox recounts his time at the Free Software Foundation where he needed to create a free—as in speech—version of the Bourne shell. It had to be compatible without using any elements of the original source code. That Bourne-Again Shell, aka Bash, is possibly the most widely used software in the planet. And Taz Brown describes how it’s one of the most important tools a developer can learn to use.You can dive deeper into the story of Bash, or any of the programming languages we cover this season, if you head over to the show’s site at redhat.com/commandlineheroesFollow along with the episode transcript.
Languages used for IT infrastructure don’t have expiration dates. COBOL’s been around for 60 years—and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We maintain billions of lines of classic code for mainframes. But we’re also building new infrastructures for the cloud in languages like Go.COBOL was a giant leap for computers to make industries more efficient. Chris Short describes how learning COBOL was seen as a safe long-term bet. Sixty years later, there are billions of lines of COBOL code that can’t easily be replaced—and few specialists who know the language. Ritika Trikha explains that something must change: Either more people must learn COBOL, or the industries that rely on it have to update their codebase. Both choices are difficult. But the future isn’t being written in COBOL. Today’s IT infrastructure is built in the cloud—and a lot of it is written in Go. Carmen Hernández Andoh shares how Go’s designers wanted a language more suited for the cloud. And Kelsey Hightower points out that languages are typically hyper-focused for one task. But they’re increasingly open and flexible.You can learn more about COBOL or Go, or any of the languages we’re covering this season, by heading over to redhat.com/CommandLineHeroes.We're passing along a correction that Carmen Hernández Andoh shared on Twitter: she misspoke about Rob Pike inventing ASCII. Bob Bremer is considered the main creator of ASCII.Follow along with the episode transcript
Diving for Perl

Diving for Perl

2019-08-0600:27:476

Languages come and go. A few have the right stuff to rise to the top—and fewer stay there. Perl had a spectacular rise, a quiet slump, and has now found its place in the world of programming.Perl seemed destined to rule the web. Michael Stevenson and Mike Bursell describe how Perl’s design made it ideal for the early web. We hear from Conor Myhrvold about its motto: “There is more than one way to do it.” Elizabeth Mattijsen shares how—despite Perl’s strength—a long development cycle slowed Perl’s growth. And although it’s not the top web language anymore, John Siracusa points out that Perl lives on as a niche tool.If you want to dive deeper into the story of Perl, head on over to redhat.com/commandlineheroes.Guest John Siracusa also co-hosts three podcasts. Check out Accidental Tech Podcast, Reconcilable Differences, and Robot or Not?
Creating JavaScript

Creating JavaScript

2019-07-2300:27:0011

A mission to set the course of the world wide web in its early days. 10 days to get it done. The result? An indispensable language that changed everything.JavaScript was the underdog that won against all odds. Clive Thompson recounts the browser wars and how much the fallout influenced the future of the internet. Charles Severance explains how JavaScript went from a last-minute moonshot to the default web development language. Michael Clayton confesses he, like many others, underestimated JavaScript. And Klint Finley describes a gloomy internet without it.If you want to dive deeper into the story of JavaScript, head on over to redhat.com/commandlineheroesWe first mentioned JavaScript's story in Episode 2 of Season 2—and made a slight correction to the story in this episode.To learn even more about those 10 days, check out the DevChat podcast interview with Brendan.
Learning the BASICs

Learning the BASICs

2019-07-0900:25:5214

Becoming a programmer used to require a Ph.D. and having access to some serious hardware. Then, in 1965, a couple of engineers had a radical idea: make it easier for people to get started.Beginner languages, like BASIC, burst the doors to coding wide open. Tom Cormen and Denise Dumas recall how BASIC changed everything. Avi Flombaum and Saron share tips on picking a first language in this new era of software development. And we hear from Femi Owolade-Coombes and Robyn Bergeron about how the next generation of coders are getting their start with video games.Beginner languages give everyone an opportunity to get their foot in the door. And that helps the industry as a whole.Check out redhat.com/commandlineheroes for more information on beginner languages.Find out more about why BASIC is a beloved first language and how the next generation will learn to code on Opensource.com.
Python’s Tale

Python’s Tale

2019-06-2500:28:0525

A benevolent dictator for life steps down and changes the course of the Python language forever. Guido van Rossum’s “Transfer of Power” memo brings attention to the way programming languages evolve.In this episode, Emily Morehouse makes the connection between Python’s technical extensibility and its inclusive community. Michael Kennedy explains how Python is both easy to learn and powerful enough to build YouTube and Instagram. And Diane Mueller highlights how the Python community took the lead on so many inclusive practices that are spreading in tech—including the rise of community-led decision-making.Sometimes, a benevolent dictator can get a language started. But Python shows it’s communities that make languages thrive.Learn more about Python at redhat.com/commandlineheroesAlso check out these Python podcasts that guest Michael Kennedy is part of — Talk Python to Me, and Python BytesWe hear from Guido van Rossum in this episode from a Computer History Museum interview.
Command Line Heroes is back for Season 3. We’re exploring the epic history of programming languages and how communities affect their development. We're talking Python, learning about JavaScript, and diving into Perl. And that’s just our “Hello, World” for Season 3.The first episode drops June 25. Subscribe today and sign up for the newsletter. Head over to redhat.com/commandlineheroes to catch up on seasons 1 and 2. Check out all the additional content while you're there.
The best and brightest took us to the moon with the computing power of pocket calculators. Now they’re taking us farther—and they’re doing it with the tech we’ve been talking about all season. Open source is taking us to Mars.The Season 2 finale takes us to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Tom Soderstrom shares how much JPL has gained by embracing open source. Hila Lifshitz-Assaf explains that NASA is solving some of their greatest problems with open software and crowdsourcing. And Dan Wachspress describes how working with NASA means proprietary companies need to make some sacrifices—but they get to work on the most innovative projects in the world.The explorers of the final frontier are choosing to work in the open—and Mars is their destination. What’s next?And while this may mark the end of Season 2, it's not really goodbye because we still want to hear from you. Reach out to us at redhat.com/commandlineheroes—we'd love to hear what you thought of this season.
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Comments (53)

rastapasta420👌

The third episode and you're already ham-fisting in diversity into an unrelated thing. "Agile was made by a white guy," so what? Build something better yourself before you tear somebody else's work down.

Oct 26th
Reply

Masih Zarafshan

loved it

Oct 26th
Reply

Saurabh AV

Very nice podcast, makes me feel proud of being part of a programmers legacy!

Oct 1st
Reply

Joshua Segal

seems like an intriguing podcast 😁

Sep 9th
Reply

Kodiak Firesmith

great series!

Sep 8th
Reply (1)

Lawson C

love it😀😄😄😄😀😀😀😁

Aug 19th
Reply

yashar esmaildokht

very nice podcast

Aug 6th
Reply

Keyo Chali

I love it 😍

Aug 2nd
Reply (1)

Keyo Chali

my favorite of all time

Jul 27th
Reply

Pedro Abreu

The problem is abstraction, i didnt hear you mention this. The first languages are getting more distant from what is happening near the metal (sometimes to our benefit or not). All Python and Java is built on C so youre just learning a sort of sophisticated high level API which will be interpeted into C which will then be run time compiled and etc... This just creates an illusion of understanding a system. Like with tools, your first tool can be a chainsaw but if you dont understand how to use an axe your knowledge foundation is just shakey.

Jul 16th
Reply (2)

Justin Baker

This is an interesting propaganda podcast, Red Hat. It's completely biased, oversimplified and missing some key points. lf you are a Linux fan then you'll eat this by the spoonful, but you should be wary. If Microsoft created a podcast to tell the same story my guess is it would be a bit different. TLDR - Series is one long ad for Red Hat.

Apr 1st
Reply (2)

Cassandra Carpenter

I may not be a developer, but this is fascinating.

Mar 2nd
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Allison Phillips

I’m baffled as to what in your life experiences has taught you it’s ok to classify an entire race of people as “full of rage” and “living like animal(s)”. I posit that the kind of person who would make such ridiculous, hyperbolic statements is full of animalistic rage themselves and thus desperately seeks ”others” to hate because it allows them to redirect the hatred they feel for themselves outward instead of facing it and channeling it into something constructive.

Feb 4th
Reply

Cina

Very good!

Jan 21st
Reply

Philip Gregory

this is just a repeat of the previous episode?

Jan 16th
Reply (1)

Landis Eian

this inspires me so much thank you because I felt like a loser when I try to code and not knowing anything

Nov 12th
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Joker Heath

your voice is perfect for this podcast. One of my favourite podcasts, speed recovery for your health

Sep 25th
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Sam Golden

Molly love ofl I'll get pp v all lol l nkklj ol pretty i'm uo okkoolmlln b be

Sep 21st
Reply

Joker Heath

was dying waiting for it,

Sep 9th
Reply

Lets Play Squire

can't believe they didn't start with a Dune 2000 reference, "control the spice, etc"

Aug 13th
Reply
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