Joel Spolsky’s compendium, The Best Software Writing I was a unique experience for me. I had read most of the essays collected within on prior occasions, but there’s something special about reading them in print. I think part of it is that I’m used to skimming when I read soft copies and blog entries, complete with haphazard mouse wheel scrolling. Reading these through the second time (and even better, the ones I had not seen previously the first time) was a lot of good food for though. In specific, the essays that talked about things like compensation, recruiting, and success were refreshing. And, of course, anything by why the lucky stiff … well, it’s a good time in hardcopy format; when I read it online I tend to just get drawn to the cartoon foxes, ignoring the text. One of the difficulties I have in general is that I like the idea of anthologies, but I tend to have a hard time staying focused, and often drop them mid-book never to resume, but somehow this book compelled me to get from cover to cover in rapid fashion.
I recommend this for those of you that work with software, or plan to do so at some point, not so much as a bible, but as some careful food for thought, interspersed with enough wit and humor to keep it interesting. 9/10.