[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Thursday, August 19, 2004

Joel on Software: The Book!My second book has finally been published!

The official title is Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity, but you can call it Joel+37 or Joel, The Book.

It's meant to be a "best of" the website, in other words, there's not a heck of a lot of new material. Gary Cornell and I chose what we thought were the most timeless 45 articles (362 pages) from the Joel on Software archive, and I spent some time cleaning it up and adding occasional postscripts for the book version. Besides the fact that you can read it in the bath, the biggest advantage of the book is that when you throw it at your colleague's head after a very frustrating argument about whether to throw away all your code and start over from scratch, it makes more of an impact than a URL. So buy several copies and keep them handy for winning arguments at work. We tried to keep the price low (it's under $17 today at Amazon).

(The first book was User Interface Design for Programmers, still in print).

For some reason there are already four reviews of this book up at Amazon.com which don't make any sense; they look like reviews of an Oracle book I'd like to read. If you like the material you've read on this site, I'd sure appreciate if you could write a little review on Amazon and drown out the comments there about somebody else's book.

Postscript: Wow! The book is #1 in "Computers" on Amazon! Thanks!

Postscript Two: Thanks to those of you who attended the Joel on Software dinner in Rome (pictures), even if we did have to drag in people from Zurich and London and walk around for a while hunting for an open restaurant.

Postscript Three: The only case I know of where a manual transmission beats a good automatic transmission is when you're driving on the highway, and you know that sometime soon you're going to have to pass somebody, so you downshift to third gear to get ready to accelerate. An automatic transmission can't read your mind, so it stays in 4th or 5th, and has to downshift when you floor the accelerator, thus creating a temporary hesitation between the time you press the gas and the time the acceleration starts which wouldn't exist if you were already in 3rd gear.

Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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