Andrew Burke

Andrew Burke
Four Weird Things About Time

Four Weird Things About Time

Session Summary

Ever wonder why the ninth month is named SEPTember and the tenth is OCTober? Why do we have leap year? And what the heck is up with Easter? Since the earliest days of civilization, cultures have had to fit complicated and irregular natural cycles into easier-to-manage abstractions like dates and times. These abstractions never quite fit the reality, and sometimes they have to be replaced or changed.

These are many of the same challenges we face in software every day – but spread out over centuries and empires.

This talk will cover thousands of years of history, from the Dark Ages love story that led our BC/AD year numbers, to rounding errors and off-by-one problems in leap years – and the surprising reason that you’re allowed to be five minutes late to class at Oxford. It will include a dozen lessons learned by kings, popes, and emperors that directly apply to the modern world of software, culture, and technology

Bio

Andrew Burke is an independent software developer with over two decades of experience, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He built the iOS “connected” diary app Remembary and also runs the humour website starshipsstarthere.ca