Programmers At Work


I’m Susan Lammers, author of Programmers at Work, a book of interviews I wrote and edited back in 1986 when I worked at Microsoft. That was a long while ago….Now I’m putting up this site in an experiment to make the interviews available for reading and discussion. Please send me your comments below, or you can email me.

You can reach me at:


  1. This is a great book Susan, I did discover your book in 1991, just before I started my professional career as a software developer. This was a very inspiring book.

    If you manage to find the audio recording, it would be nice if you could convert them into MP3 and post them on your blog …

    Best Regards from France,

    Comment by Tarek Demiati — March 1, 2008 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  2. This is a wonderful book. I’ve recently just discovered it via the RetroMacCast podcast, and got my hands on a copy from Amazon, and I’m currently enjoying it.

    It’s great to see this has been opened up for all to enjoy, many thanks.

    Comment by Ray Arachelian — May 20, 2008 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

  3. Thank you Susan for keeping PAW alive and for having caught those snapshots about those great minds at work back in the prior milennia. I look forward to the discussion here about the already posted interviews and the remaining ones–particularly Dan Bricklin.

    Comment by Teo Malos — May 22, 2008 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  4. We talked about your book on Episode #65 of the RetroMacCast:

    A great retro read!

    Comment by James — May 31, 2008 @ 2:17 pm | Reply

  5. I read your book many years ago when I was a member of the now defunct Boston Computer Society and found it inspiring. Good for you for putting up this blog and providing insight into the heuristic/creative process called programming.

    Comment by Katrineholm Uncensored — August 10, 2008 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  6. I’m waiting for the second release of PAW.
    Paradigms changed during the last 20 years but I believe the core ideas are still the same.
    Thank You Susan

    Comment by Sergio D'Agostino — October 19, 2008 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

    • Thank you!

      Comment by sml — March 17, 2010 @ 2:22 am | Reply

  7. great work susan.
    Thank you,
    –ali muslim

    Comment by Ali Muslim — October 27, 2009 @ 4:05 am | Reply

  8. Dear Susan: I’m a spanish computer engineer.
    I have read the spanish translation of your fantastic book in 1988.
    And I wrote an article about the same in February 2008:

    Congratulations for your book.


    Comment by Carlos Urtasun — December 22, 2009 @ 10:04 am | Reply

  9. Thank you!

    I discover your book in my lab library in Japan and I found it very interesting. But as the book is in Japanese I could not read it as fast as I would like and understand all the interviews fully. Reading in English is faster and easy to understand for me!

    Comment by Mariano — March 3, 2010 @ 12:44 am | Reply

  10. Your book was/is my all time favorite Tech Books. I lived and worked in the Silicon Valley at the time, and your book is like a scrapbook in history for me. I still have the original edition, and now nearing retirement, I can find no one near me who understands the significance of your work, so I refuse to hand it down.

    Thank You

    Comment by Steve Howard — February 23, 2011 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

  11. Nice to find an on-line version of this book !
    I acquired the original book in its French-language version back in 1986 – and I still keep it in my ‘pulp’ library as a testimony of that great period that saw the emergence of people-centric computing.
    Thanks to share elements of the legend !

    Comment by Daniel Denayer — February 7, 2014 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  12. Really pleased to find this is online – I read PAW about 20 years ago and wanted to recommend to my son, who’s studying Comp Sci at university.

    Comment by S Rudman — December 23, 2021 @ 9:37 am | Reply

    • Thanks for this comment. Love it. . If you’d like to buy a copy of the book, I actually have a box I found in storage recentlyt that I want to sell off. I could ship one to you. You can contact me at my email: susan underscore lammers at msn dot com. Thanks! L

      Comment by sml — December 24, 2021 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  13. I bought this book way back when… Read it and loved it! Am I correct in thinking this was the first book published by Microsoft Press?
    I got wind of Bill Gates coming to the Houston Area League PC Users Group (HAL-PC) to be the guest speaker. I took the book and had him sign it!
    Hopefully this Facebook link will work:

    Comment by Cliff Lee — February 10, 2022 @ 1:54 am | Reply

  14. I remember buying and reading this book when it came out. It was fantastic. Really great interviews, cool code fragments etc. It was really the first and maybe the only in-depth interviews with programmers on their craft. Thank you!

    Comment by zurlocker — June 21, 2022 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

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