Joel on Software [NOOK Book]


Joel Spolsky began his legendary web log,, in March 2000, in order to offer insights for improving the world of programming. Spolsky based these observations on years of personal experience.

The result just a handful of years later? Spolsky's technical knowledge, caustic wit, and ...

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Joel on Software

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Joel Spolsky began his legendary web log,, in March 2000, in order to offer insights for improving the world of programming. Spolsky based these observations on years of personal experience.

The result just a handful of years later? Spolsky's technical knowledge, caustic wit, and extraordinary writing skills have earned him status as a programming guru! His blog has become renowned throughout the programming worldnow linked to more than 600 websites and translated into over 30 languages.

Joel on Software covers every conceivable aspect of software programming—from the best way to write code, to the best way to design an office in which to write code! All programmers, all people who want to enhance their knowledge of programmers, and all who are trying to manage programmers will surely relate to Joel's musings.

Table of Contents

  1. Choosing a Language

  2. Back to Basics

  3. The Joel Test: 12 Steps to Better Code

  4. The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

  5. Painless Functional Specifications Part 1: Why Bother?

  6. Painless Functional Specifications Part 2: What’s a Spec?

  7. Painless Functional Specifications Part 3: But . . . How?

  8. Painless Functional Specifications Part 4: Tips

  9. Painless Software Schedules

  10. Daily Builds Are Your Friend

  11. Hard-Assed Bug Fixin’

  12. Five Worlds

  13. Paper Prototyping

  14. Don’t Let Architecture Astronauts Scare You

  15. Fire and Motion

  16. Craftsmanship

  17. Three Wrong Ideas from Computer Science

  18. Biculturalism

  19. Get Crash Reports From Users—Automatically!

  20. The Guerilla Guide to Interviewing

  21. Incentive Pay Considered Harmful

  22. Top Five (Wrong) Reasons You Don’t Have Testers

  23. Human Task Switches Considered Harmful

  24. Things You Should Never Do, Part One

  25. The Iceberg Secret, Revealed

  26. The Law of Leaky Abstractions

  27. Lord Palmerston on Programming

  28. Measurement

  29. Rick Chapman Is In Search of Stupidity

  30. What Is the Work of Dogs in This Country?

  31. Getting Things Done When You’re Only a Grunt

  32. Two Stories

  33. Big Macs vs. The Naked Chef

  34. Nothing Is As Simple As It Seems

  35. In Defense of Not-Invented-Here Syndrome

  36. Strategy Letter I: Ben & Jerry’s vs. Amazon

  37. Strategy Letter II: Chicken-and-Egg Problems

  38. Strategy Letter III: Let Me Go Back!

  39. Strategy Letter IV: Bloatware and the 80/20 Myth

  40. Strategy Letter V: The Economics of Open Source

  41. A Week of Murphy’s Law Gone Wild

  42. How Microsoft Lost the API War

  43. Microsoft Goes Bonkers

  44. Our .NET Strategy

  45. Please Sir May I Have a Linker?

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Editorial Reviews
Spolsky is knowledgeable, funny and free of unnecessary religious fervor. Joel on Software is a must-read for developers, product managers and those who want more insight into the world of developing software.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781430207535
  • Publisher: Apress
  • Publication date: 8/15/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 623,956
  • File size: 2 MB

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

1 Choosing a language 3
2 Back to basics 5
3 The Joel test : 12 steps to better code 17
4 The absolute minimum every software developer absolutely, positively must know about unicode and character sets (no excuses!) 31
5 Painless functional specifications : part 1 : why bother? 45
6 Painless functional specifications : part 2 : what's a spec? 53
7 Painless functional specifications : part 3 : but ... how? 65
8 Painless functional specifications : part 4 : tips 69
9 Painless software schedules 77
10 Daily builds are your friend 89
11 Hard-assed bug fixin' 95
12 Five worlds 101
13 Paper prototyping 109
14 Don't let architecture astronauts scare you 111
15 Fire and motion 115
16 Craftsmanship 119
17 Three wrong ideas from computer science 125
18 Biculturalism 131
19 Get crash reports from users - automatically! 139
20 The guerilla guide to interviewing 153
21 Incentive pay considered harmful 167
22 Top five (wrong) reasons you don't have testers 171
23 Human task switches considered harmful 179
24 Things you should never do, part one 183
25 The iceberg secret, revealed 189
26 The law of leaky abstractions 197
27 Lord Palmerston on programming 203
28 Measurement 211
29 Rick Chapman is in search of stupidity 215
30 What is the work of dogs in this country? 219
31 Getting things done when you're only a grunt 225
32 Two stories 231
33 Big Macs vs. the naked chef 237
34 Nothing is as simple as it seems 243
35 In defense of not-invented-here syndrome 249
36 Strategy letter I : Ben & Jerry's vs. Amazon 253
37 Strategy letter II : chicken-and-egg problems 263
38 Strategy letter III : let me go back! 271
39 Strategy letter IV : Bloatware and the 80/20 myth 277
40 Strategy letter V : the economics of open source 281
41 A week of Murphy's Law gone wild 291
42 How Microsoft lost the API war 295
43 Microsoft goes bonkers 315
44 Our .NET strategy 323
45 Please sir may I have a linker? 327
App The best of Ask Joel 333
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Customer Reviews

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