Sponsored By Aspose - File Format APIs for .NET

Aspose are the market leader of .NET APIs for file business formats – natively work with DOCX, XLSX, PPT, PDF, MSG, MPP, images formats and many more!

The why of writing, or “How to acknowledge your betters”

You wouldn’t know if from reading my blog lately but yes, I’ve still been working on Brownfield Application Development in .NET with Donald Belcham. The good news is that the book is done. And as much as I would have loved the book to be released on April 1, I have to settle on March 30 for the ebook and April 12 for the print.

I probably should be pushing it a little more but I think the Canadian in me is what’s causing me to resist such flagrant self-marketing. Some may say that doesn’t bode well for its success but we have another take: If the book is good, people will hear about it with or without our help. In thinking of the books I’d like to be associated with, exactly none of them came to my attention because the publishers and/or authors told me about them. It was because a peer told me about it or I read a review in a blog.

For my part, having re-read it recently in preparation for its launch, I’m pretty proud of it. And I’m going to break character a bit to explain myself in a fit of self-reflection.

Over the years, I’ve gotten comments from people about my blog. The ones that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside are the ones that don’t talk about the technical aspects. Instead, they mention the writing style. One of the best compliments I was ever paid was from someone who claimed he had a non-technical friend who read a single technical blog.

If it’s not obvious from the last few years’ worth of posts, I love writing. Absolutely love it. I love the way the rights words sound when put together and the way you can catch someone off-guard with the proper phrasing. I’ve long held the belief that one of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself from others in this industry is by learning to write well. And judging from the Facebook status of your average tween/teen, that’s only getting easier.

Technologically speaking, I’m pretty schizophrenic. Which means I don’t usually dive deep enough into a technology to bring much new to the table. So I focus my efforts on communication. In explaining things in a different way such that people understand it and remember it. This, to me, has always been lacking in the industry and it’s by focusing on that aspect that I’ve enjoyed a rewarding career both as a blogger and a consultant.

By the way, the light-hearted tone I’ve worked so hard to build here belies a larger effort. And I don’t want to get all high ‘n mighty bragging about how much work I put into this (though to provide full disclosure, I *did* just delete a couple of paragraphs about my writing process that did exactly that). But there is a reason for the tone I use. Our industry is too serious most of the time. I suspect most industries are. It seems some people do nothing but actively *wait* for something bad to happen so they can talk about it to someone. Before I started blogging, I cut my teeth on a little family rag with my brother. And encouraged by our reaction on that, I wanted to take the same voice to the technical community. Mostly so that other people can have as much fun as I’m having. To doctor a line from Heist (written by my favorite screenwriter, no less): everybody needs fun. That’s why they call it fun.

But that’s not why I started this blog post.

In the book, we are fairly sparse on acknowledgements. We include the people at Manning that helped us and our respective families but are vague on others. The reason being, my memory sucks and we knew we’d leave someone out. So this post is meant to be a more living document that I can update as I think of others.

Without further adieu, I’d like to specifically thank the following people who all contributed to the book whether they know it or not. Reasons can be provided on request (links are to twitter):

Thanks to the people at Manning: Marjon Brace, Liz Welch, Mary Piergies, Steven Hong, Cynthia Kane, Karen Tegtmeyer. Special thanks to editor, Michael Stephens who has an uncanny ability to diffuse any situation, and to our proofreader, Katie Tennant, who got all my jokes and made them sound better.

And, of course, my co-author, Donald Belcham who provided the majority of the technical content, though he probably doesn’t realize it.

Kyle the Rewritten

This entry was posted in Brownfield. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
  • http://codebetter.com/members/kylebaley/default.aspx Kyle Baley

    Gerry,

    Manning is the publisher which is why I linked to them. The book is available on Amazon. I’m positive the ebook comes with the print version. It should include instructions within to download it. Give me a shout if it doesn’t.

  • Gerry

    Very interested in reading this book, as I enjoy your blog and loved the sample chapters.

    Your link takes us to the Manning website, which I assume is a preferred supplier. However, I’m in the UK and would normally buy from a UK dealer. My question is, do you know if the Ebook automatically comes with a copy of the softback, or is that a Manning only offer? Thanks

  • http://sharpbites.blogspot.com alberto

    Congrats!
    I’m looking forward to reading it, I am also a fan of your always-slightly-ironic writing style, which resonates with myself. I hope I can find some of that in the book, too.