We Speak Your Language


Season 2

Episode 1

Nora Sandler

At just 30 years old, Nora has achieved some things that some people would not achieve in their entire lifetime. After studying at the University of Chicago, Nora went on to study at the Recurse Centre in New York, where she expanded her knowledge of compilers. In this episode, Nora will talk about her book  “Writing a C Compiler” which will be published next year.

Episode 2

Walter Bright

Over his career, Walter Bright has accomplished many wonderful things, his most notable work being the D programming language. In this episode Walter discusses his life’s work, including how he embarked upon the creation of the D language and also his work creating the Zortech C++ compiler. 

Episode 3

Roberto Ierusalimschy

Roberto Ierusalimschy is a legend:  he is the designer and main implementer of Lua, the de facto standard for scripting languages used in video games such as Roblox, World of Warcraft and many others. More than his (incredible) stories, his (equally incredible) insights, what sets Roberto aside is his light-hearted attitude to sharing his work with the masses, and his unique sense of humor. A wonderful interview of an inspiring personality!

Season 1

Episode 1

Julien Verlaguet

For our first episode we would like to introduce Julien Verlaguet. Having been employed at Facebook for almost a decade, Julien worked predominantly as the head open source developer on their type PHP Hack. Julien since continued at Facebook to develop the Skip language and currently works self-employed as the head open source developer of Skip.


Episode 2

Doug Lea 

Next, we would like to introduce Doug Lea, whose life’s work has been devoted to developing the design of Java libraries for concurrency memory management. His malloc library is widely used by software developers across the world. Doug is currently a professor and the current head of the computer science department of SUNY Oswego in New York. 


Episode 3

Gerard Berry 

Gerard Berry is a pioneer of compiler technology for safety-critical systems. He began his studies in computer science all the way back in 1968. Gerard has watched software technology grow into what it is today – he has seen it all, and then some. In this episode he will discuss the history, infancy, and development of his very own language, ESTEREL.


Episode 4

Leandro Melo

Leandro Melo, from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, first began his studies in control and automaton engineering before realising that his true passion lay in compiler technology. During his career he has worked intensively with the C++ language, including his work on the Nokia Qt IDE project. In this episode he will discuss his work and the challenges he has faced working with C++.


Episode 5

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is a researcher at INRIA in Sophia Antipolis, where he focuses on language design and implementation of high-level programming languages, also leading workshops in Scheme and Functional Programming and Dynamic Language Symposium. In this episode, amongst other topics, he will discuss his work on the development of his ahead of time Javascript compiler. 


Episode 6

Cliff Click

Cliff Click wrote his first compiler at just 15 years old. During his career Cliff has proceeded to write the Java HotSpot JIT compiler. This compiler was one of the very first of its kind, which gracefully brought Java into the mainstream in the manner in which it is used today, which Cliff will discuss in detail in this episode.



 If you are fascinated by programming languages, if they are more than just a tool, whether you design them, compile or interpret them, analyze, optimize or measure them – this podcast is for you.

Hosted by Darius Blasband and Jan Vitek, each episode features an interview with a guest from the field of compiler technology. We focus on people with the particular mindset it takes to work on language technologies, a mindset wired to think about programs as abstract objects to be studied, manipulated and transformed, and languages and compilers as playgrounds of the creative mind.

We stay away from the technicalities that have been described extensively in separately published material.

Instead, we interview language designers, past and current, compiler writers, tool developers, educators, researchers, the famous as well as the confidential, but always with a story to tell, always with a fresh perspective. They share ideas, motivations, ambitions and even frustrations.

Our community is made of passionate people, with strong and sometimes conflicting opinions, but conversations remain civil even when we disagree on most things. This is about confronting ideas, not about winning an argument.

So join us for inspiring conversations with inspiring people.

After all, it’s in the title.

We speak your language.


Jan Vitek was born in Czech Republic and holds a PhD from the University of Geneva. He has worked at various educational institutions and been involved in a couple of startups, but nothing too serious. He is partly responsible for the concept of Ownership Types but should not be blamed about their use in Rust. He led a project to build a real-time Java virtual machine, which flew in a drone built by Boeing. He is working on a just-in-time compiler for the language R, which will be his undoing.

Darius Blasband was born in 1965 and holds a master’s degree and a PhD from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His focus is legacy modernization, articulated around compilers for legacy languages. Darius is the founder and CEO of Raincode (http://www.raincode.com), main designer and implementer of its core technology, an acclaimed speaker in academic and industrial circles. He is the author of “The Rise and Fall of Software Recipes” (ISBN-13 : 978-9490783426) This pointless blah-blah can go on for pages, but essentially, Darius is a geek. Building software systems is what he likes best. After his family. After chocolate, and at par with music.