The Best Software Writing I
I have never been a big fan of Joel Spolsky. Some of his writings seem to be a matter of simply stating the obvious. However, truely great thinkers have a way of a way of understanding the obscure and explaining it as if it were common sense. So, my impressions of him may just be a misperception. This book did give me a better impression of him.
The Best Software Writing I is a collection of what Joel sees as some of the best writings on software in the last year or two. The goal of the book is to encourage good writing from a genre of people that are proficient at writing in languages that a computer understands, but are incapable of writing anything slightly interesting for humans. When I picked up the book, I had only heard heard of one or two of the authors. But since reading the book, I now consume the blogs of many of them. I was somewhat disappointed by the abundance of people involved in “corporate” software development. It would have been nice to see more people involved in free and open source software, or those with a good perspective on the industry.
While I don’t know that I would consider some of them “the best”, most of the articles were quite enjoyable and the rest were at least tollerable. This is the first book that I have actually read cover-to-cover for a while, so that itself says something. There are articles to entertain anyone that is slightly interested in software development; suits or techies.
Overall, this book was a little disappointing after the first few articles. The hard part about a book like this is that it is difficult to provide a climax and a resolution. The articles are good from the onset and don’t really get any better. But I do look forward to the second installment. It is important to keep a finger on what is going on in the industry, and this book provides a great insight into the minds of some of those in the trenches.