A Conversation with Roberto Ierusalimschy, Creator of Lua by@classpert

A Conversation with Roberto Ierusalimschy, Creator of Lua

Roberto Ierusalimschy is world-renowned as the creator of the Lua programming language. He is teaching Building a Programming Language, a new Classpert course designed to help developers truly understand how programming languages work, thereby helping them better understand the languages they use every day. Roberto says developers spend their whole professional life embedded inside a programming language, “Most software developers live inside a. programming language. They think in a programming. language. And this logical way of thinking can help developers solve problems even outside of programming too”
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Roberto Ierusalimschy, is as close to a celebrity programmer as things get - the Brazilian academic is world-renowned as the creator of the Lua programming language and he has spent a lot of time considering what makes a great language and what makes a great programmer.


“I think those things go hand in hand,” says Roberto. “I love the mindset that goes with being a developer. Great developers know and love their tools. And the main tool of any software developer is their programming language. Great developers know that the best way to use the tool is through really understanding the thought processes that went into making it.”


The Drivers Behind Software Developers


Roberto has a deep appreciation of what drives software developers, “Most software developers spend their whole professional life embedded inside a programming language. They live inside a programming language. They think in a programming language. And this logical way of thinking can help developers solve problems even outside of programming.”


This deep love of programming and of languages, Roberto believes, helps train developers’ brains, bestowing the double advantage of making them better on the purely technical side of things, but also improving their soft skills, and making them better communicators.


An immersion in all things programming is what differentiates great developers from the rest. Says Roberto, “The deeper they understand how programming languages work, how programming languages are designed, the better programmers they will become, and the better they are at the problem-solving outside of programming too!”


When you think about it, this makes perfect sense. Ultimately, programming is a series of instructions given to a computer disaggregating complex problems into numerous, smaller solvable steps. The logical, methodical approach needed to break big problems down into smaller, more manageable tasks benefits developers on a daily basis, helping them be more open-minded and solution-oriented, two of the most desirable attributes in any individual, regardless of the workplace.


Taking Programming Languages For Granted


“I remember giving a talk at IBM about Lua,” laughs Roberto, “and after the talk one of the attendees came up to me and said, ‘I never realized that programming languages are designed. I thought, programming languages just exist! That they just are there. And that's it!’ That was funny to me because I think a lot of people might think like that. That programming languages are just there. That they are bad. Or they are good. And there's nothing you can really do about them. But I want to change that perception and have people really think about programming languages and think about why they exist the way they exist and why they were designed the way they were designed. I think by reframing programming languages we can become better developers and better individuals even outside of computing!”




Roberto Ierusalimschy is teaching Building a Programming Language, a new Classpert course designed to help developers truly understand how programming languages work, thereby helping them better understand the languages they use every day.


For more information please log onto the Building a Programming Language landing page.


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