About Book "The Best Software Writing I"
By Roman Strobl on VII 08, 2005
I've just finished reading a book called The Best Software Writing. It's a collection of essays, collected and edited by Joel Spolsky. It usually takes me several weeks to read a book, but this one was fast, it is very readable so I read it in less than a week.
All the essays are about software development, some of them are serious and some of them are really not. Btw, majority of the essays is published on the web, one blogger made a nice list of all of them here. Anyway they're better to read from paper so I can recommend buying this book. Or if you are from Prague Sun, you can ask me to lend you the book ;-)
As Joel writes, software industry doesn't have a lot of readable books. My home library is full of Java, SQL, programming, and other software-related books, most of them are so heavy that I could easily use them in self-defense. So I appreciated that this book is full of stories and I don't have to think on every page whether I will survive reading till it's end.
What I've enjoyed the most: the essay about strong vs. weak typing - connected with coding productivity. The idea that "Starbucks doesn't use a two-phase commit" - very useful observation. "What to do when you're screwed" - reminds me of the time I was doing project management in the startup I worked before Sun, it nicely explains when you are just slightly screwed and when you are totally screwed. The essays of Eric Sink have very good insights on software markets. Clay Shrinky's articles are probably the least readable ones in the book but interesting, too, discussing the issues of social software whose waters are not so much investigated yet. Well and the final ruby essay is just crazy, even too crazy for me.