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Question and comments on "Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers" book

Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
Ed,
I just peeked at the table of contents for "Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers: Riding the IT Crest" and was pleasantly surprised to find Weird Al in there - I'll have to get a copy just for that.

I'm curious as to what prompted you to write such a book in the first place? I must admit I was a little concerned that it would be just a lot of blather, but in reading the excerpt posted on Amazon I was pleased to see that there is actually a good bit of information that we can apply ourselves.

Thanks for writing the book, I look forward to reading it!
Burk


SCJP, SCJD, SCEA 5 "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
Ed Burns
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Joined: Sep 11, 2006
Posts: 82
    
    5

I just peeked at the table of contents for "Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers: Riding the IT Crest" and was pleasantly surprised to find Weird Al in there - I'll have to get a copy just for that.


Great, I'm glad to hear it. A couple of the reviewers on Amazon questioned the utility of including Weird Al. On the other hand, over in the Weird Al forum at http://www.weirdalforum.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=1166&st=736&#entry560367 you have

As though any book wouldn't be improved by an interview with Weird Al.


I'm definately learning that with reviews, YMMV!

I'm curious as to what prompted you to write such a book in the first place?


An old high school crony of mine, Joseph R. McCabe, became a writer when he grew up. He's currently in a leadership role on the editorial staff of http://fearnet.com/ , the horror genre portal from Comcast. Well, it turns out Joe wrote a book of interviews with author Neil Gaiman and his collaborators http://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Out-Dream-King-Collaborators/dp/1560976179/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1206446261&sr=8-1 I really enjoyed this book and the insight it gave into being a professional author/comic book artist/musician.

A few years after Joe's book came out, I started frequenting the Java conference circuit on the strength of interest in JSF. No Fluff Just Stuff, TheServerSide Symposium, JAOO, JavaPolis, JAX, and of course JavaOne. I noticed that no matter where I went, I saw roughly the same crew on the speakers list. I started to wonder "why is it that these guys (and it's all guys, sadly) are here" What is it that makes them special? Combining that question with Joe's book, and here you go.

I also have to point out, as I do in the acknowledgements, that Susan Lammer's book "Programmers at work" is similar, but from a 1986 vintage, and with a less technical focus.

Ed
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
    3
Ed,
I guess it goes without saying that any reviewer not in favor of Weird Al isn't worth listening to.. and now that I've said it I must confess that I agree with myself whole-heartedly. I must admit I feel ashamed that I didn't even think of looking for a forum dedicated to that musical genius.

As a Neil Gaiman fan, I guess I've got another book to add to the read-me stack.

One thing I've noticed about the speakers at No Fluff is that most of them are either authors or consultants, or both. JavaOne seems similar though I know it's not all that way (at least this year) because I'm busilly working on a presentation I'll be giving there this May. I don't know that they're "special" but I do know they must have more free time 'cause I'm swamped.

It's funny you mentioned "Programmers at Work" - I own a copy and read some of it years ago (probably in the late 80's or early 90's) and wondered if there might be some connection.

Thanks for your reply - if I don't win a copy, I'll have to mosey on down to the local Borders Books and buy one.

Burk
 
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