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An Exquisite Ear

The memoir of BBN cofounder and acoustics pioneer Leo Beranek

2 min read
Cover of the book "Riding The Waves: A Life in Sound, Science, and Industry"
IEEE Spectrum

Cover of the book 'Riding The Waves: A Life in Sound, Science, and Industry'Riding The Waves: A Life in Sound, Science, and Industry  By Leo Beranek; MIT Press, 2008; 256 pp.; US $25.95; ISBN: 978-0-262-02629-1

This memoir, by a pioneer of psychoacoustics, is a salient reminder of how business and social collaboration can drive technological innovation. For sure, people skills aren’t enough; you also need an understanding of the underlying science to judge which contracts to accept, never mind with whom it is best to collaborate. It is the rare individual who has all the qualities needed to succeed at all these things. Indeed, Leo Beranek’s character, as much as his talent, is the (usually understated) leitmotif of this book.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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