Appearing now, on dead trees!

Today, Dreaming in Code should be arriving in stores. Amazon has officially switched it from “available for preorder” to “in stock now.” And I’ve swapped out the “coming soon” banner on the book’s Web site for a “now available” sign.

For a writer whose career has arced from weekly newspapers to daily newspapers to round-the-clock Web sites, the transition to writing an old-fashioned book has been one big exercise in delayed gratification. By the time I started writing about the project on my blog, I’d already been working on it (researching and preparing a proposal) for almost two years. From that point to first draft was another year and half, and then more than one year further to get from draft to finished-book-in-your-hand. In this business, impatience doesn’t pay.

The extended timeline does provide many opportunities for reflection, and one of the things I’ve kept returning to is how utterly essential to my work the blogosphere has been. Of course I interviewed lots of people the old-fashioned way. But the fact that so many software developers now use the Web as an open notebook allowed me to explore the subject far more deeply and more widely than if I’d needed to track down and talk to each one of those programmers in person.

So thanks to every developer who’s posted thoughts on his or her work — you’ve made my work easier, and better. And thanks to all of you here who’ve followed along the escargot-paced progress of this project. During its multi-year course, writing here — and knowing that a bunch of great, smart people were reading and responding — helped keep me sane.

Now it gets fun. I’m not doing a world tour, a fact for which I and my family are grateful. But I’ll be making a number of public appearances here in the Bay Area, as well as some in-house events at some companies. Here’s the list (they’re also on Upcoming and Eventful):

Thursday, Jan. 18, 7:30 p.m.: Reading at Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park

Sunday, Jan. 21, 2 p.m.: Pleasanton Library (cosponsored by Towne Center Books), Pleasanton

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 12:30 p.m.: Reading at Stacey’s Books, San Francisco

I’m also doing presentations at Yahoo, Microsoft (Redmond) and Google over the next couple of weeks. If you work at one of those places and want more info, just let me know.

We’ll see what I learn from the people at those events, who undoubtedly will know more than I do, and I’ll try to bring some of it back to the Berkeley Cyber Salon on Feb. 25, where I’ll be hosting a panel on the themes of Dreaming in Code.

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  1. So that’s where you’ve been all this time! I’ve been a devoted Salon reader since Salon started, and I always enjoyed your articles. I noticed very few of them lately (indeed, I think I haven’t read an article of yours on Salon for a couple years!) I’m glad to hear you were busy working on this juicy book — right up my alley as I’m a software developer and open source enthusiast. I’ll pick it up on the way home today.

    Great work. Must be good if you got such a stellar nod of approval from Joel (of JoelOnSoftware); he’s read more books in this field/genre (if it can be called that) than anyone I know.


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