Who would’ve thought? He leads an organization of 100s of developers, and doesn’t do much coding anymore? Although if you read to the end, you’ll find that he still codes, just not Linux kernel stuff.

Well, the big thing is I don’t read code any more. When a patch has already gone through two people, at that point, I can either look at the patch and say: no, all your work was wasted, and micromanage at that level – and quite frankly I don’t want to do that, and I don’t have the capacity to do that.

So most of the time, when it comes to the major subsystem maintainers, I trust them because I’ve been working with them for 5, 10, 15 years, so I don’t even look at the code. They tell me these are the changes and they give me a very high-level overview. Depending on the person, it might be five lines of text saying this is roughly what has changed, and then they give me a diffstat, which just says 15 lines have changed in that file, and 25 lines have changed in that file and diffstat might be a few hundred lines because there’s a few hundred files that have changed. But I don’t even see the code itself, I just say: OK, the changes happen in these files, and by the way, I trust you to change those files, so that’s fine. And then I just say: I’ll take it.

Interview: Linus Torvalds – I don’t read code any more.

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