A painting of me

Joel on Software: The Book

   17 December 2004, lunch time

I bought Joel on Software: And on Diverse and Occasionally Related Matters That Will Prove of Interest to Software Developers, Designers, and Managers, and to Those Who, Whether by Good Fortune or Ill Luck, Work with Them in Some Capacity, a few weeks ago. I would have to say with a title like that I had some high expectations. Joel on Software is a popular website on software development, and this book is a collection of the more interesting essays posted by Joel on his site. Having the essays in a book was very convenient. I would read the book on the subway in the morning. More so, some of the longer essays were much easier to read in a book then they were on a computer screen. I had read a few of the essays before, but for the most part this was all new material to me. Here are a few of the essays I thought were quite interesting: Back to Basics, Big Macs vs. The Naked Chef, In Defence of the Not-Invented-Here Syndrome, Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon and How Microsoft Lost the API War. The book was a very enjoyable read. I would recommend it to any computer scientists out there. I feel like starting a company now that I’ve read it. My only beef with the book would be that it is a bit too Windows-centric. However, Joel is far from a Windows zealot, so his focus on Windows isn’t obnoxious.



  1. Joel Spolsky is speaking at the Canadian Undergraduate Technology Conference in January 2005.

    He’s a very cool guy and is meeting up with his Toronto fans the day he speaks at an informal lunch.


  2. I was aware of the talk, but since it is on a friday I can’t make it. Also, I find a lot of programmers can be really, really annoying. So meeting up with a whole bunch of them is something I try to avoid.

  3. ... did you just say programmers can be “really, really annoying”? I couldn’t have put it better myself! :P

  4. Annoying in a different kind of way—not like me.

  5. In what way are you annoying then? ;-)

  6. “Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry’s vs. Amazon” was an interesting read. I must say that the assertion “Amazon – Corporate culture is impossible” is incorrect.

  7. Well I just imagine a group of programmers who read his site going on about how .NET sucks or Firefox is so great or I am super 133t look at me, or something else equally annoying. I’m annoying in a preschool sort of way.

    Also, i think he is speaking at Amazon in the coming weeks.

  8. If you change your mind and go, let me know what he says (about Amazon).

  9. No, he is speaking at Amazon. According to his web site he is giving a private talk to your company. I don’t think i’ll go, I’d have to skip work.

  10. Oh. I should read my e-mail then and see when/where it is. (I’m subscribed to lots mail lists, etc., but I’m too busy to read them).

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