Architects look at thousands of buildings during their training, and study critiques of those buildings written by masters. In contrast, most software developers only ever get to know a handful of large programs well—usually programs they wrote themselves—and never study the great programs of history. As a result, they repeat one another's mistakes rather than building on one another's successes.
The Architecture of Open Source Applications (aosabook.org) is a book series that aims to change this. The fourth volume (""500 Lines or Less"", github.com/aosabook/500lines/) contains 20 short examples of canonical programs written and explained by experienced software developers. This talk will give a brief overview of the book, and will explore the most surprising lessons we learned by producing it.