The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky


Frustrated by the lack of well-written essays on software engineering, Joel Spolsky (of fame) has put together a collection of his favorite ...

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The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky

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Frustrated by the lack of well-written essays on software engineering, Joel Spolsky (of fame) has put together a collection of his favorite writings on the topic.

With a nod to both the serious and funny sides of technical writing, The Best Software Writing I: Selected and Introduced by Joel Spolsky is an entertaining read and a guide to the technical writing literati.

The Best Software Writing I contains writings from:

  • Ken Arnold
  • Leon Bambrick
  • Michael Bean
  • Rory Blyth
  • Adam Bosworth
  • danah boyd
  • Raymond Chen
  • Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi
  • Cory Doctorow
  • ea_spouse
  • Bruce Eckel
  • Paul Ford
  • Paul Graham
  • John Gruber
  • Gregor Hohpe
  • Ron Jeffries
  • Eric Johnson
  • Eric Lippert
  • Michael Lopp
  • Larry Osterman
  • Mary Poppendieck
  • Rick Schaut
  • Aaron Swartz
  • Clay Shirky
  • Eric Sink
  • why the lucky stiff
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
There’s been a flowering of great writing about software: deep thinking, and flat-out funny stuff, too. The legendary Joel Spolsky has compiled the best of it, and his comments are as priceless as the writing.

Here are Cory Doctorow and Paul Graham, Clay Shirky and Aaron Swartz. Here’s Michael Bean on the pitfalls of outsourcing design...and Leon Bambrick’s hilarious trashing of Windows Search. Here’s Ken Arnold on why coding style should be enforced by compilers...and Rory Blyth wondering how marketers get all that malformatted data into Excel. Here’s Danah Boyd explaining why “social software” smacks of autism...and Bruce Eckel on why strong typing ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

It’ll make you think. Sometimes laugh. And, in the case of “ea_spouse” ’s chilling essay on life at Electronic Arts, maybe even shed a tear or two. Bill Camarda, from the August 2005 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590595008
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 6/30/2005
  • Edition description: 1st ed. 2005. Corr. 2nd printing 2005
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 1,476,173
  • Product dimensions: 9.21 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel Spolsky is a globally recognized expert on the software development process. His web site Joel on Software ( is popular with software developers around the world and has been translated into over 30 languages. As the founder of Fog Creek Software in New York City, he created FogBugz, a popular project management system for software teams. Joel has worked at Microsoft, where he designed Visual Basic for Applications as a member of the Excel team, and at Juno Online Services, developing an Internet client used by millions. He has written two books: User Interface Design for Programmers (Apress, 2001) and Joel on Software (Apress, 2004). Joel holds a bachelor's of science degree in computer science from Yale University. Before college, he served in the Israeli Defense Forces as a paratrooper, and he was one of the founders of Kibbutz Hanaton.
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Table of Contents

Style is substance 1
Award for the silliest user interface : Windows search 7
The pitfalls of outsourcing programmers 9
Excel as a database 17
ICSOC04 talk 23
Autistic social software 35
Why not just block the apps that rely on undocumented behavior? 47
Kicking the llama 51
Save Canada's Internet from WIPO 53
EA : the human story 59
Strong typing vs. strong testing 67
Processing processing 79
Great hackers 95
The location field is the new command line 111
Starbucks does not use two-phase commit 119
Passion 125
C++ - the forgotten Trojan horse 129
How many Microsoft employees does it take to change a lightbulb? 135
What to do when you're screwed 139
Larry's rules of software engineering #2 : measuring testers by test metrics doesn't 151
Team compensation 157
Mac Word 6.0 171
A group is its own worst enemy 183
Group as user : flaming and the design of social software 211
Closing the gap, part 1 223
Closing the gap, part 2 233
Hazards of hiring 247
PowerPoint remix 261
A quick (and hopefully painless) ride through Ruby (with cartoon foxes) 267
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