November 2012 Archives

Software in the Age of Sampling


I've just returned from Øredev in Malmö, Sweden where I delivered Software in the Age of Sampling twice. The first time to a healthy turnout, the second to a nearly empty theater, to get a take without demo snafus. The video below is Take Two.


Over the last generation or so, software development has changed profoundly, but some of these changes occurred so slowly they have barely been recognized.

Software was once built by skilled but peculiar artisans, who meticulously crafted their original, green-fields commissions from first principles. Today, their frontiers are gone, and the very few of us build anything new from the ground up. Instead existing resources are rehashed, recombined, and remixed to produce "new" mash-ups based up the work of others. It's collaborative, this 21st century scavenging, and it has become a state-of-the-art approach to software development.

These changes in the way we produce software have much in common with the changes that have transformed the music industry over the last thirty years. The garage band era of original composition has given way to the direct borrowing of scraps of other people's pieces and a cavalier disregard for traditional originality.

This session will explore how software developers in the age of sampling have as much in common with contemporary high-tech music "producers" as they do with traditional engineers.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2011 is the previous archive.

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