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The Language of Programming

Anjana Vakil | GOTO Berlin 2019

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Humans use language to communicate with one another; humans use programming to communicate with machines (or do they?). In this talk we’ll look at the practice and culture of programming from the perspective of linguistics, the scientific study of the form, meaning, and function of language. We’ll explore what lessons we as programmers can learn from subfields as varied as grammar theory, language acquisition, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics.

Code is language, language is collaboration, collaboration is power. We should consider code through the same cultural and cognitive lenses as (human) language.

What will the audience learn from this talk?
How to apply concepts from linguistics to write, learn, and think about code in a more contextualized, collaborative, and inclusive way.

Does it feature code examples and/or live coding?
No live coding and a few short code examples.

Prerequisite attendee experience level:
Level 100

About the speakers

Anjana Vakil
Anjana Vakil

Independent Developer Educator & Software Engineer