READING

What happens when you screw up?

Non-engineers want to know: what happens when a big bug is found in your software, and the bug is causing real users real problems, and you’re the one who wrote the code? Engineers do sometimes write bad code, and sometimes it makes it into production, it’s true. But shipping production software involves a lot more than writing code. It goes beyond that one engineer. That engineer is not the only person who saw or ran that code.

Book news: Rough Cuts and Amazon

Just in time for Pycon, material from our new book is now available on the Safari “Rough Cuts” service. If you’re a Safari subscriber, or decide to become one to get access to our draft chapters, please check it out and let us know what you think! Reader comments are incredibly important to us. We have a title now – Python Web Development with Django – and we’re even listed on Amazon.

A little something I've been working on

The latest This Week in Django podcast, out today, has an interview with me. I really enjoyed talking with Michael and Brian, and hope I didn’t come off sounding too dorky (or long-winded – I haven’t yet listened to the show, but based on the timestamps in the show notes I could probably use an edit!). I think they do a very good job with the show, and in fact I think that the structure Michael came up with – Tracking Trunk, Branching & Merging, Community Catchup, Tip of the Week – is one that other open source projects would do well to emulate in their news missives.

Belated comments on Dreaming in Code

Back in February I mentioned Scott Rosenberg’s book Dreaming in Code. Somehow I never got around to posting more extended comments. Recently I was asked, by someone who had followed the Chandler project but hadn’t seen the book, to clarify why I thought the story was sad. This post is a cobbling-together of my answer to that question as well as some comments I made in the course of our group-interview on the Well.

Dreaming In Code: The Interview

Over on the Well we’re having a discussion with Salon.com co-founder (and longtime Well member) Scott Rosenberg about his new book, Dreaming in Code. The book follows the Chandler project – conceived as a radical reinvention of the personal information manager – from its inception in 2002 through… well, through multiple stalls and restarts that lead not to a triumphal “Rocky of software” finish but to our embedded journalist moving on after deciding he just can’t wait any longer.

Dispatches from Blogistan

Suzanne Stefanac’s new book, Dispatches from Blogistan, is out. She’s a Well pal and you may have seen her name in the comments here. I haven’t gotten my hands on the book yet, but Suzanne’s blog gives an excellent taste; the glossary entries are particularly worth browsing. Good luck with it, Suzanne – try not to check your Amazon sales rank more than three times per hour!

Required reading: Steve Yegge

If you frequent any online programmer haunts you may have already been exposed to the writings of Steve Yegge, a former Amazon.com software developer and a technical ranter par excellence. Yegge has re-published his rants, most of which were originally written for an internal audience of developers at Amazon, to the web at large. He urges people not to take them too seriously, but there’s a lot of truth in them.