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Interview: Joel Spolsky on how the developer role has changed

Joel Spolsky is best known as the cofounder of Stack Overflow, the peer-to-peer Q&A site that every developer knows—and that most visit often. Less celebrated is that Spolsky is also the creator of Trello, the collaboration and work management tool bought by Atlassian last year for $425 million.

But perhaps even more successfully, Spolsky is a writer. He has written five books for developers and, in the year 2000, started Joel on Software, a cleanly written and often funny blog that has addressed key issues in the tech business and delivers sharp advice on how to code better. Those who have been around the industry a while know that blog well and value the critical thinking behind it.

In this interview, Spolsky offers his observations on how the role of developer has evolved over the past decade or so. He weighs in on the triumph of JavaScript, the advent of WebAssembly, and the purchase of GitHub by Microsoft—the company that gave Spolsky his start back in the 1990s, when he worked on the Excel team. He also explains the simple idea that he believes made Trello so popular among developers and project managers.

Spolsky also has some thoughts on the most exciting trends in software development today. His essential voice is worth listening to.

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