Monday, October 16, 2006

A Peek ahead at Two Soon-to-be Released Books

I recently got pre-press copies of two books that I've been looking forward to for a while, The Ruby Way (by Hal Fulton) and Software Creativity 2.0 (by Robert Glass). I recently interviewed both authors (Hal and Bob) which only whetted my appetite for these books.

These look like two great books, although of very different types. The Ruby Way, 2nd Ed. is a great compendium of Ruby knowledge — it's part reference, part cookbook, and part guide to the dao of Ruby. Software Creativity 2.0 is a language agnostic look at the creative tension that needs to exist to make sotware development great. Since these are previews, I'm not going to do a full review yet ... but I'd like to share something about each book that made me grin.

In his description of local Ruby groups, Hal uses my preferred term (Ruby Brigade). This strikes close to home, since I made up the term. You see, Doug Beaver, Ryan Davis, and I were hanging out at the first Seattle meeting trying to figure out what to call ourselves. I tossed out the idea of the Seattle.rb (to match the Perl groups). Doug and Ryan both liked it, but we needed to come up with an expansion for the rb acronym. 'R' was easy, but the 'B' had us stumped for a little while, eventually I hit on the idea of a Ruby Brigade and things just went from there. So, (queue my Paul Harvey voice) now you know the rest of the story.

In essay 1.7 (The Strange Case of the Proofreader's Pencil), I got a glimpse into Bob's early (pre-programming days). There were a couple of times during our interview that I felt like I was the wrong person to be doing the interview. Bob's forgotten more about programming than I know, and I felt very much like the young whippershnapper getting involved with his betters (not Bob's fault at all, he was incredibly gracious to put up with an upstart like me). Reading about Bob's interactions with a boss and being able to put myself in the same role as I read the essay made me feel a little bit closer to him. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

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