What We Think About When We Think About Code explores how software engineers think about the code they write. Each episode is an interview with a different engineer, and we ask what mental constructs the interviewee uses, what forms and shapes the code takes in their mind.
In this episode I interview Rafael about how he thinks about code. Rafael turns out to be a spatial and visual thinking, imagining code interacting as shapes fitting together. He also thinks about code as a person when he doesn't understand it.
In this episode I interview Phil about how he thinks about code. Phil primarily uses a flat, visual representation of the code's structure.
In this episode, I interview Nam about how he thinks about code. Nam primarily uses a verbal understanding, hearing the words in his mind.
In this episode, I interview Brett about how he thinks about code. Brett has a hard time expressing what's going on in his mind, the representations are very abstract. Brett reaffirms the theme from Rafael that anthropomorphization is useful when you don't understand the code.
In this episode I interview Kay about how she thinks about code. Kay works with code as a scientist, and uses story-based metaphors to conceptualize different transformations.
In this episode, I interview Jen about how she thinks about code. Jen primarily uses procedural thinking to get an understanding of what code does. She also thinks a lot more about the social context of the code than any of the other interviewees - she thinks about the other people on the team, and how they will react to new code.