Google I/O Panel on VCs Who Code

The video from the second panel I was on at Google I/O 2010 – Technology, innovation, computer science, & more: A VC panel – is up.  Dick Costolo – the COO of Twitter – is the moderator and my fellow panelists are Albert Wenger, Chris Dixon, Dave McClure, and Paul Graham.  Someone didn’t like the title so it was renamed “VCs Who Code” but apparently that didn’t stick with the official event panel namers.


While I stopped writing production code in the early 1990’s, I still fuck around with something each summer when I’m in Alaska (in past years it has been Perl, Ruby, and PHP.)  I haven’t decided what it is going to be this year, but it’ll probably be Python as I’m seriously considering taking 6.189 using MIT OpenCourseWare.

For the curious ones in the crowd, I’m a self declared “excellent BASIC programmer.”  When I got my Apple ][ in 1979 the only choices were BASIC and 6502 Assembler.  I learned each, but only wrote commercial software on the IBM PC in BASIC (and compiled BASIC, back when getting a BASIC program to compile was a trick in and of itself) between 1983 and 1985 (using Btrieve as the database manager.)  By 1986 I was doing a lot more work in Dataflex and Pascal.  At MIT, I learned Scheme (via 6.001) and was ok with it, but never did any production work with LISP even though every time I looked at a Symbolics machine I drooled.  I learned a handful of other languages in school, such as CLU and IBM System/370 Assembler (and something on a Prime computer – I can’t remember what) but never used any of it outside a class.  Feld Technologies did most of its work with Clarion, although I never really learned it well enough to do anything production quality since by that point I wasn’t coding regularly anymore.  While I was proficient with a bunch of database languages such as dBase, Paradox, and R:Base, I never liked any of them and we never really wrote production systems in them (although we took over and managed a lot of crap that other people had tried to write.)  Oh – and I was pretty good with Lotus 1-2-3 Macros.

In some parallel universe, I sit in front a computer all day and write code.