Greg Wilson

Greg Wilson

Head of Instructor Training at DataCamp

Co-founder of Software Carpentry

Editor of The Architecture of Open Source Applications, Beautiful Code, and Making Software

Would-be children's author

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Parent, spouse, and proud Canadian


Start now. Use what you have. Help those you can

Sep 18, 2017 - Disappearing Data

I woke up this morning to a really depressing thread on Twitter from the Pacific Institute’s Peter Gleick. He went looking for the data on climate change that used to be on the US Geological Survey’s website. In December 2016, its “Effects of #Climate Change” page had 2,825 items; today, it has none. Here’s his summary of the overall changes:

Sep 13, 2017 - Long Thoughts

When’s the last time you had a long thought? I remember having thoughts that stretched on for hours as I worked through basic physics problems or wrote my first lesson on regular expressions or read Guards! Guards! for the first time.

Sep 8, 2017 - Bridge and Evolution

I hate the phrase “thought leader”. It’s the epitome of self-congratulatory business-speak, meant to sound vaguely inspirational without providing any affordance for disagreement. On those rare occasions when someone accuses me of being one, I tell them (quite truthfully) that I’m more of a thought scavenger. But a discussion last night at an inspiring meetup hosted by DITTo and Rangle for the Bridge program made me realize that “scavenger” isn’t the most accurate analogy.

Aug 1, 2017 - MSR Books

Back in 2010, Andy Oram and I edited a book called Making Software: What Really Works, and Why We Believe It. In it, some of the leading lights of empirical software engineering research presented their favorite results and the methodologies behind them. My hope was that it would spark development of a better software engineering course; that hasn’t happened yet, but there are signs that the tide is running the right way. One is a trio of books that are both broader and deeper than Making Software:

Jul 21, 2017 - Too Soon and From Unexpected Directions

Alvin Toffler once wrote, “The future always arrives too soon and in the wrong order.” After thirty-five years in tech, I would add, “And from unexpected directions.” Real disruption inevitably from things we aren’t paying close attention to, because if we’re watching something, its evolution doesn’t come as a surprise.