Earlier this year, Clive Thompson, veteran technology journalist and best-selling author, stopped by Stack Overflow for a chat with our founder and CEO Joel Spolsky. Thompson’s latest book, Coders, is a wide ranging look at the past, present, and future of programmers. It’s a sort of ethnographic history of this particular tribe, examining how software developers fit into the world of business and culture and how their role in society has shifted in recent decades.
The official conversation kicked off after a 15-minute tangent on Joel’s collection of Omni magazine and the formative role this publication had for both men. What follows is a transcript of their conversation, lightly edited for length and clarity.

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