It’s official: I’m writing a
book!

It’s being published by my friends and (reluctant) mentors, The Pragmatic Programmers,
which is especially thrilling, considering that they are two of my favorite
authors. Having worked with Dave as an editor
on The Ruby
Way
(meaning, Dave was tech-editor and I was contributing author) and
in the same capacity on Programming
Ruby, 2nd edition
, I came into this project with the understanding of
the magic he can work with a little "English refactoring".

They also have the most amazing publishing system I could imagine.
It’s unbelievably motivating to be able to type:

        $ make book.pdf && open book.pdf

…and to see a print-ready (sort of) copy of my work in progress.

The name of the book is "My Job Went to India, and All I Got Was This
Lousy Book". Here’s a particularly illustrative blurb from the
book’s web site:

        The American IT job market is slowly coming apart at the seams,
        and it's all our fault. Most of us have been stumbling around
        letting our careers take us where they may, and now we're surprised
        when our companies are shipping our jobs overseas for a fraction of
        the price. It's time to take control of our careers, and in the
        process, learn to stay both relevant and employed. This book will
        show you how to take action to avoid becoming yet another casualty of
        offshoring.

The book is a survival guide for the Western programmer. It lays out a
process, a mindset, and a set of techniques for helping you:

  • Pick the right technologies and business domains to "invest" in.
  • Continually refresh your skills.
  • Kick ass on the job.
  • Make sure people know who you are and what you’re capable of.

My goal is to help software developers learn how to make
remarkable careers for themselves.

The book is due out around August 1, but I’ll be finishing a first
draft much earlier. I’m looking for brutally honest reviewers. Please
let me know
if you’re interested.


An Aside

There are currently 895 people who want to write a book on 43things.com (not counting the fact that
some may have spelled it "right a book", and so on :). I am one
of the 895. I’ve had the urge to write for a long time now. In fact,
publishing a book was in my new year resolutions list at least as far back
as 1999.

As I regurgitated here,
what I think all of us 895 people really want is "to have written a
book". For me, specifically, the process of writing and being read is
identical to the process I went through when I studied music composition. I would
spend each week pouring the best of myself into an act of creativity, and
unlike music performance, a composer has the luxury of revision
before showing his or her work. In my paranoia- and anxiety-ridden world,
this luxury translates into the disturbing realization that those who see
my work are aware of the fact that I already had a chance to
improve it. So, I would go into my music composition lessons with a score,
feeling as if I were opening up a horribly personal part of myself for
inspection. "Here’s the best I’m capable of. This is
basically ‘me’. Go ahead. Tear it apart." I have to learn
how to make writing not be like this. It obviously doesn’t
lead to productivity.

Of course, the music composition story always had a happy ending. And,
despite all the worry, I’m really pleased with how it’s turning
out so far. I can’t wait to hear what you think!