Web dev at the end of the world, from Hveragerði, Iceland

Language models and software quality and other links


Double dose of links this week, since last Monday was a bank holiday here in Iceland.

Modern software quality, or why I think using language models for programming is a bad idea

This massive 7000-word essay is based on a talk I gave at Hakkavélin, a hackerspace in Reykjavík.

I had an amazing time there and the questions and feedback I got was instrumental in helping me write the final essay.

Many thanks to @rysiek for organising everything and to everybody who showed up to listen and discuss.

The essay goes over the nature of modern software development, gives you a high level overview of how language models work, and then goes into detail as to why they are, in their current form, a bad fit for software development.

From my conclusion:

Even if you purposefully tried to come up with a technology that played directly into and magnified the software industry’s dysfunctions you wouldn’t be able to come up with anything as perfectly imperfect as these language models.

Read more over on the newsletter.

Highlight of the week

​"Origin Stories: Plantations, Computers, and Industrial Control"​

The architectures of Babbage’s engines are bound with his theories of labor control, and his engines served as one of the multiple mechanisms by which he sought to discipline workers. And at the root of his larger project of industrial labor discipline lie plantation logics and technologies.

Software development

The rest

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