February 28, 2008

Dreaming about Dreaming in Code

Okay, so I’m reading Dreaming in Code and I feel like I should hate it because some guy at Sun said something about it being whack. I don’t remember the details. But Scott Rosenberg (the author) responded to the Sun guy (who I remember as being pretty smart because of how cool DTrace is) and the Sun guy responded and it was really good reading. Okay, not that good . . . I don’t remember most of it as you can tell. Anyway, the point is that it got me to start thinking about how I need to read this book. I already had the book . . . ordered it when Joel mentioned it in his blog (even though it’s not on his reading list). And, yeah, I called him Joel . . . he may not know me (though I did meet him but I guess I didn’t make much of an impression . . . I flew to SFC to see a demo of Fogbugz . . . that can be another post!) but I know him just from reading all his stuff. Beside, to me, “Joel” is like the “Linus” of software developer blogs so it’s cool to just say “Joel” in the context of software development even if you don’t know the man.

I found myself really liking the book. As a developer, I figured I must be, well, missing something because right in the beginning of the book Scott says he wrote the book for non-developers . . “normal people”. As I read it I kept thinking to myself: “most normal people probably wouldn’t understand”. Anyway, I kept reading.

I have a bad habit of only reading books when I fly . . . I don’t set enough time aside for “real reading”. Sure, I read RSS feeds and Time and Linux Journal and even Fine Woodworking. But that’s more casual than something like a book. So once I started the book I had the urge to fly . . . or at least I didn’t mind the prospect of a two hour flight. So I decided that I should go to the Google GEO Developer Series that some fine people at the Googleplex decided to put together for the locals. Two hours of reading to and from San Jose . . sweet! The GEO stuff was pretty cool too by the way . . I’ll write about that later.

Okay, back to the book. Later on in the book there is a section about one smart guy who thought programming should be as easy as English and everyone should be able to do it. While reading that I thought to myself: writing isn’t all that easy and most people can “read and write” but what they might write wouldn’t be all that interesting and I certainly wouldn’t call it good. This post is a perfect example . . . I mean, even that colon is out of place! And what’s with the . . . . all the time? Anyway, not 4 pages later is the example the of the writer who tries his hand at programming and ends up with the opinion that programming is harder than writing. Then it goes on to say about how English majors have to study great writing but programmers don’t study great code. All very insightful!!! I’m saying it all wrong but I’m trying to be brief.

Anyway, I’m not quite done with the book and I hope to go to the next Geo conference on Wednesday so I can finish it up. After that I’ll write something a little more comprehensive. I just wanted to have something up on this website! And since I’m almost done I need to grab up a book from Joel’s reading list that I haven’t read.

Sheldon