This talk tells the story of a revolution in the world of linguistics and how we can apply it to software development. Everyone agrees on the importance of readable code, but no-one can agree on how to write it. There are many conflicting rules out there, and they are all opinionated and arbitrary. Grammar is also full of rules, and not all rules are the same. “Prescriptive” rules are hard to follow. “Descriptive” rules are intuitive. With the help of Shakespeare, Noam Chomsky and some little green men, we will learn the dangers of prescriptive rules, and discover howreadable.com, an online scientific experiment that can help us write readable code.
Presented at FrontCon 2020