|« December 2013|
My article is a bit unusual. Rather than expanding on one of my talks, I wrote instead about a common theme that characterizes many of my recent talks: old ideas or technologies that are showing their worth again in the modern software development climate, and the importance of knowing the history of our field. The article is called Buried Treasure, and I’m thrilled that it’s been selected as one of two articles that are available on the website as teasers for the book. I’ve love to hear your feedback!
Let me put it this way, in an effort to support this young publishing company, loyal readers will often go to their site to buy direct -- which means paying more for the books than they'd pay on Amazon.
I won't argue with that; there is a lot of loyalty there. Dave and Andy are good friends of mine, and I certainly want to support their company by buying direct, and I encourage others to do so.
But it's not just loyalty. I would buy direct from them for a very practical reason, and last night I realized that it goes beyond even that -- I found myself wanting to buy a Pragmatic Bookshelf book that hasn't been written yet (and that, so far as I know, they aren't even planning) in preference to an existing best-of-class book. That's right; I prefer the Pragmatic Bookshelf book on a topic to a classic from another publisher, even when the Pragmatic Bookshelf version doesn't exist yet.
Because from the Pragmatic Programmers, I can buy a POPE -- a Plain Old PDF Ebook. Not tied to a special reader, or a single machine, so it's trouble-free. And it'll be on my laptop wherever I am, instead of sitting on a shelf at home somewhere.
(And heartfelt congratulations, as well.)
If you haven’t read Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt’s Pragmatic Starter Kit books—Pragmatic Version Control and Pragmatic Unit Testing—you definitely should. (They’ve just released a new edition of the unit testing book, covering C# and NUnit. Now that I think of it, that counts as yet another cat recently out of the bag. But since they haven’t sent me a copy, I can’t really write about it, can I? Ahem. :-)
But all along, the book I’ve really wanted to read is the third one in the series: Pragmatic Automation. The one that hasn’t been written yet. Isn’t that typical?
Here’s the breaking news that I can finally talk about: I noticed that it’s now being proclaimed from the Pragmatic Programmer’s website that the author of Pragmatic Automation is Mike Clark.
Now, by way of full disclosure, I have to admit what I’ve already admitted to Mike: when he first told me that he might be doing this, my first thought was, "But I wanted to read Dave and Andy’s automation book!" But that gut reaction was wrong, and it didn’t take me long to realize it. Mike is the right guy to write this book.
Dave and Andy will still be actively involved, of course, and they’ll make sure Mike covers their favorite tricks. But you’ll also get to read about Mike’s tricks. On this topic, more heads are definitely better. Automation is an open-ended topic. Mike is an aggressive automator—he loves to let the computer take over the drudgery for him. And Mike understands that automation is as much about consistency as it is about efficiency.
Mike’s still writing, and the book isn’t scheduled to be available until June. But you may as well set your money aside now. More than ever, Pragmatic Automation is the starter-kit book I’m dying to read.
(Thanks to James for the bit-smithery to realize my idea.)