Scottish Folk Dance: If you can follow code, you can dance!

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 10:00 – 10:45am in B202/203


Can you follow and write code? Do you participate in the ebb and flow of open source communities? Does pivoting those skills into a social form of exercise appeal to you? If so, then Scottish folk dancing might be for you!


Dancing is a computer program that, when executed, produces physical movement in humans. I will proceed from this statement to introduce Scottish country dancing, which is a form of structured folk dance practiced all over the world (in addition to Scotland), and briefly broadcast to the world during the third season of Downton Abbey. Modern Scottish dance corresponds pretty closely to structure of fourth generation computer languages; the part that is discussion-worthy (to me, anyway) is how the code development process translates to the writing of a new dance. Though I will say this — there is no gdb for Scottish dance writing.

Furthermore, the communities that have grown up around open source projects are similar to the society that has developed around Scottish dance; I will touch briefly on the organization of both groups and how they work towards the goal of keeping the tradition alive both by introducing new members and writing new dances.

Finally, if possible, I will bring in my Scottish dance group and demonstrate a few dances; if there’s time, we can make it an interactive session wherein we teach open sourcerers how to dance.


scottishcountrydance, software, Development, folk, dance

Speaking experience

I've spoken at the previous two OSBridges, several time at the Linux Plumbers' Conference, and most recently at the Linux Storage/Filesystem/Memory Management summits.


  • Head


    Darrick has been cranking out patches to the Linux kernel for the past twelve years. In that time he has worked on many areas of the kernel, most notably ext4, storage drivers, energy management, firmware hacking, and environmental sensors. He is now attempting to bring about the future of data storage, whether that means adapting existing filesystems to new kinds of storage, making versioning cheap, or teaching the computer how to automatically repair damage.

    Before that, Darrick mostly wrote software toys (compilers, interpreters, even operating systems) for fun, and nosed around inside a computer more than he admits. He has yet to find a computer that he can’t crash.

    Off-line, Darrick enjoys dancing, exploring exotic back-country with a camera, and belting out songs.