Joel Spolsky has compiled a book of essays on software, which he calls The Best Software Writing I. The essays all came from online sources, but when Spolsky released the chapter listing, I didn’t see anywhere online where he posted links to the originals. So here they are.
Caveat: The print edition may have any number of improvements over the online versions. Nevertheless, as long as some version of the essays exist online, I don’t see a reason not to link to them. Readers who would like to have the authoritative version, with a rather attractive cover, should go buy the book.
I do not have anything to do with Joel Spolsky other than reading his blog occasionally. I am not the rightsholder for any of the offsite content I link to below. (As of June 2005, I haven’t even read most of this, yet.)
some pages that appear to be the original sources for
The Best Software Writing I
Joel Spolsky - Introduction
- Ken Arnold - Style Is Substance
- Leon Bambrick - Award for the Silliest User Interface: Windows Search
- Michael Bean - The Pitfalls of Outsourcing Programmers
- Rory Blyth - Excel as a Database
- Adam Bosworth - ICSOC04 Talk
- danah boyd - Autistic Social Software
- Raymond Chen - Why Not Just Block the Apps That Rely on Undocumented Behavior?
- Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi - Kicking the Llama
- Cory Doctorow - Save Canada’s Internet from WIPO
- ea_spouse - EA: The Human Story
- Bruce Eckel - Strong Typing vs. Strong Testing
- Paul Ford - Processing Processing
- Paul Graham - Great Hackers
- John Gruber - The Location Field is the New Command Line
- Gregor Hohpe - Starbucks Does Not Use Two-Phase Commit
- Ron Jeffries - Passion
- Eric Johnson - C++ – The Forgotten Trojan Horse
- Eric Lippert - How Many Microsoft Employees Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?
- Michael “Rands” Lopp - What to do when you’re screwed
- Larry Osterman - Larry’s Rules of Software Engineering #2: Measuring Testers by Test Metrics Doesn’t
- Mary Poppendieck - Team Compensation (pdf)
- Rick Schaut - Mac Word 6.0
- Clay Shirky - A Group is its Own Worst Enemy
- Clay Shirky - Group as User: Flaming and the Design of Social Software
- Eric Sink - Closing the Gap Part 1, Part 2
- Eric Sink - Hazards of Hiring
- Aaron Swartz - PowerPoint Remix
- why the lucky stiff - A Quick (and Hopefully Painless) Ride Through Ruby (with Cartoon Foxes)
How I did it
Spolsky released the chapter listing in June 2005, and I noticed that a lot of them were blog posts that I’d read before. I wondered how much of the book was taken from online content. A few minutes of hacking later, and a programmed equivalent of Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” had found most every single chapter, or a page that was one degree of separation away.