Greg Wilson

Helping scientists build better software since 1997

Toronto, Ontario

Areas of Expertise:

  • education
  • computational science
  • software engineering
  • speaking
  • training
Greg Wilson has worked on high-performance scientific computing, data visualization, and computer security, and is currently project lead at Software Carpentry. Greg has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh, and has written and edited several technical and children's books, including the Jolt Award winner Beautiful Code (O'Reilly, 2007).

Making Software Making Software
by Andy Oram, Greg Wilson
October 2010
Print: $44.99
Ebook: $35.99

Practical Programming Practical Programming (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
by Jennifer Campbell, Paul Gries, Jason Montojo, Greg Wilson
May 2009

Beautiful Code Beautiful Code
by Andy Oram, Greg Wilson
June 2007
Print: $44.99
Ebook: $35.99

Data Crunching Data Crunching (Pragmatic Bookshelf)
by Greg Wilson
April 2005

Greg blogs at:

How Shazam predicts pop hits

May 22 2015

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come. In this week’s Radar Podcast, I chat with Cait O’Riordan, VP of product, music and platforms at Shazam. … read more

How Shazam predicts pop hits

May 22 2015

Subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar Podcast to track the technologies and people that will shape our world in the years to come. In this week’s Radar Podcast, I chat with Cait O’Riordan, VP of product, music and platforms at Shazam. … read more

Photo-Development Challenge Results #2: Statues

May 22 2015

It's been three months to the day since I posted "Photo-Development Challenge: Inspire Me and Others With Your Artistic Interpretation", and I'm mortified that it's only the second set of results that I'm finally getting around to sharing (the first having been "Hillside Temple Buildings" 2½ months ago). In retrospect,… read more

Ask the Readers: Will higher interest rates make you save more money?

May 22 2015

This article is by editor Linda Vergon. Interest rates are expected to rise later in 2015. What will you do with this information? You could make the case that you haven’t missed much if you didn’t keep your money in a savings account over the last few years. But still,… read more

Four short links: 22 May 2015

May 22 2015

GM: That Car You Bought, We’re Really the Ones Who Own It — GM’s claim is all about copyright and software code, and it’s the same claim John Deere is making about their tractors. The TL;DR version of the argument … read more

"I found it a very interesting book that examined the actual empirical evidence to support or refute some of the sacred cows in software engineering. I think this this is a refreshing step forward for our profession."
--Kim Moir, Releng of the Nerds

"This is a book that you, the programmer and designer, will find worth your time. "
--David H. Bushnell, IOS Press

"Practical Programming is definitely great for a student in an introductory class who is approaching the subject for the first time."
--A. Jurek,

"If you don't anticipate using this textbook in an Introduction to Computer Science class, but are intending to enter into such a program, this book would fit nicely in your summer reading list, giving you a leg up on the course work. "
--James Pyles, Million Chimpanzees

"This isn't a book you have to read – but if you are a programmer at almost any skill level you will find it deeply enjoyable. "
--Mike James, I Programmer

"A collection of thirty three chapters from experts in their fields, Beautiful Code comes as a whiff of fresh air into the book shelf of the programmer...The book will give color to imagination of programmers used to reading bland text-book type documentation and programming manuals."
--Ganadeva Bandyopadhyay,

"Beautiful Code seems the rare kind of computer programming book that tends to resist well the test of time; while it is quite technical and full of code samples, the ideas being discussed are mostly independent of the programming language in question. "
--Rafael Chaves, Vancouver Island Java User Group

"If you want to take your mindset as a developer to the next level, this is a good book. It's also an interesting insight into certain programming problems and their solutions."
--Iain Laskey, PC Book Review

"Adam Oram and Greg Wilson edit Beautiful Code: Leading Programmers Explain How They Think, a unique collection of master classes in software design which will prove perfect not just for computer libraries, but for classroom assignment and independent study...Any programmer involved in software engineering or design will welcome this survey of how the best coders think."
--James Cox, The Bookwatch: The Computer Shelf

"For the serious programmer, this book should have a place on the must-read list. (Caveat: be prepared to spend some time, unless you've mastered several languages and are in the habit of understanding abstract and complicated ideas from brief textual descriptions. If you still think you can read through it quickly, you might spend some time studying the humility of some of the industry giants who have written here.) For a rating, this book is given the maximum value due to the wide range of topics surveyed and the quality of the content."
--Rick Wagner, JavaLobby

"This book is a fascinating insight into the minds of some leading programmers...If you are able to get past the fact that each chapter comes from an entirely new author with an entirely new project, this is an interesting book and a great peek into some truly brilliant minds."
--Mike George,

"Currently rated No.1 on in the programming category, this book gives advice and case studies on how to creatively and carefully design solutions to high-profile software projects and development dilemmas. For example, the "Beautiful Tests" chapter written by Alberto Savoia, CTO of Agitar Software, helps developers understand how running consistent and thorough tests can make code more robust. Is this kind of book likely to help you score more programming goals? Who knows – but it’s good to keep up your training routine at all times isn’t it?"
--Adrian Bridgwater, ZDNet

"I don't imagine that most people would read this book cover-to-cover with the idea that every chapter would be applicable and personal. Writing styles vary, and the technical level of some chapters is *very* deep. But nearly any software developer should be able to read the book and extract a number of ideas that will improve their mindset and approach to what they do on a daily basis... writing beautiful code."
--Thomas Duff, Duffbert's Random Musings

"This is not an easy book, in the sense that it requires that you get into the right frame of mind to fully appreciate some of the subtleties. You might need to find a quiet corner and get into the zone whilst tackling one or two of the more difficult topics. You might even need to read the odd chapter twice before the 'Aha!' moment strikes, but it's certainly worth it. The time spent might well pay for itself several times over if it provides the insight required to solve a problem you encounter...If you are a programmer who likes to find out how things really work, and gain some insight into the minds of past master craftsman, then you should definitely buy this book. This book deserves a place on every serious programmers bookshelf since the lessons to be learned will not become obsolete as languages and technologies change. Highly recommended."
--Mitch Wheat, Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms!

"Beautiful Code presents wide-ranging contributions from 38 pioneering software designers who aim to "rouse and inspire a new generation of coders" by sharing their most closely held secrets. For example, contributor Ronald Mak expounds on his elegant approach to NASA's Mars Rover, and Arun Mehta focuses on the importance of making technology useful to the disabled. Editors Oram and Wilson call the essays from such gifted inventors "inspiring and uplifting.""
--James Gray, Linux Journal

"My appreciation of Beautiful Code is like the one I have for the Justice League or the X-Men– a band of exceptional individuals moving towards a common, altruistic end...This should give the enthusiastic developer a fresh and broad perspective on software. I have to mention that the book is developer oriented, so expect a lot of code and text intertwined. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The book hopefully will be able to give you a new way to look at software."
--Regnard Kreisler C. Raquedan, Standard Web Standards